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Ambulance satnav not to blame for asthma attack boy's death

Coroner rules faulty tech did not change outcome

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Satnav technology is off the hook after a coroner ruled that a nine-year-old boy who suffered a fatal asthma attack would not have survived had the ambulance sent to his aid been routed correctly by its GPS box.

Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams ruled yesterday that Corey Seymour died from natural causes.

"Would the outcome have been any different if the ambulance had arrived two and a half minutes earlier to the scene?" he asked. "In my judgment, no."

Corey suffered a heart attack at his home in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. The cardiac arrest was brought on by a "sudden and catastrophic exacerbation" of his asthma, the inquest was told.

The asthma attack prompted Corey's mother called for an ambulance, which didn't reach the family home for 24 minutes, in part because the vehicle's satnav sent it off in the wrong direction, the court heard. That added 2.5 minutes to its journey time.

The boy's mother questioned whether, without that delay, the ambulance crew might have saved her son.

A paramedic arrived within five minutes of the initial call. Corey went into cardiac arrest two or three minutes later.

Even if the paramedic had immediately taken Corey straight to hospital rather than wait for the ambulance, the coroner said, the lad would have still suffered massive cardiac arrest. ®

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