A pregnant woman in Virginia claimed that she waited an hour for paramedics to arrive after being injured in a car crash, according to reports.
“I could not believe they had [me] out there for over an hour because of this accident,” Latanaya Thorton, who was 37 weeks pregnant at the time, said of the incident. Thornton was “livid” as she was forced to lay on the ground and wait.
Thornton claimed that a driver ran a red light and hit her car on June 12. The initial response by Richmond Fire was prompt – seven minutes to assess her and request an ambulance.
However, an hour passed before the ambulance actually arrived. A spokesman with the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) told WTVR that all eight ambulances the city operates were busy at the time.
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Three units had responded to “Priority 1” calls for life-threatening injuries and five were already heading to a hospital with patients. Thornton learned that her injuries did not meet the Priority 1 criteria.
A former medical assistant, Shannon Ronaldson, stopped to provide some assistance to Thornton, but could only do so much out of fear she might further injure Thornton, KFVS reported.
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“I just saw that she was pregnant, and it scared me,” Ronaldson said. “Her anxiety was really, really high. She was in pain. She was scared.”
In a video posted to Facebook, Ronaldson claimed that the paramedics were trying to get an ambulance from Chesterfield.
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“This is not OK,” Ronaldson said.
Mayor Levar Stoney’s office issued a statement over the incident, saying the mayor was “concerned” about what happened and that “our first responding agencies will be meeting with RAA to determine what happened in this situation.”
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The RAA said that it could only staff half the number of ambulances needed by the city due to staffing shortages.