Mum Claims Paramedics Called Her Pregnant Daughter A 'Drama Queen' Hours Before She Died


A grieving mother has said paramedics called her daughter a "drama queen" hours before she suffered a fatal cardiac arrest brought on by an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.

Sabrina Stevenson, died aged 28 on 16 December 2012 following a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

Her parents believe she was unaware she was pregnant and are now trying to raise awareness of ectopic pregnancies, which can cause death within hours if not treated.

Speaking after an inquest into Stevenson's death her mother Dawn Coventry, 50, from Rayleigh, Essex, commented on her daughter's treatment.

"One went to put a tube down her throat and told her flatmate, 'We'll know if she is faking as she won't let us do it'. By that point she was almost in cardiac arrest."

"For me as a mother, it is horrific to know how she was treated in her final hours," Coventry added.

"The inquest proved that if they had acted properly then we would still have Sabrina with us today."

The inquest heard how Stevenson's flatmate had called an ambulance on 16 December 2012, as Stevenson was suffering from stomach pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.

An ambulance didn't arrive until two hours after the initial call. The paramedics then struggled to assess Stevenson's condition and delayed taking her to hospital due to problems with removing her from the flat.

Stevenson arrived at the accident and emergency department at 10.40pm but was declared dead at 11.24pm.

The coroner recorded a narrative verdict, blaming a number of failures, accumulating in neglect, for Stevenson's death.

Coventry and her husband, Gary, are now fundraising for The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, of which Mrs Coventry is a committee member.

Mr Coventry told the Halstead Gazette: “The condition happens a lot. It’s quite common and about five women a year die from ectopic pregnancies.

“We’re trying to raise funds for the charity, but also awareness of the condition so husbands and partners will recognise the signs.

“We also feel GPs are not fast enough to spot the signs and are in some way dismissive of the women who report with certain issues."

According to The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust the condition occurs when a fertilised egg implants (gets stuck) in the fallopian tube, or another area outside of the womb.

Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Pain in one-side of your stomach, which can be persistent or intermittent
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pain when you go to the toilet
  • Feeling light-headed, nauseous or faint
  • Spotting or abnormal vaginal bleeding

These symptoms could be caused by a number of conditions, so if you are experiencing any of them call NHS Direct on 111 or contact your GP.

London Ambulance Service Medical Director, Dr Fenella Wrigley, issued the following statement: "We would like to once again apologise to Ms Stevenson's family and we are sorry we could not provide the high quality care expected.

"We received details of the inquest's verdict when it was concluded in January and we have already made changes to how we operate to prevent an incident like this happening again.

"We have received additional funding from our GP Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to improve our performance and staffing to ensure we can provide high quality care to every patient. We have also changed the content of our staff training as a result of learning from this experience."

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