Following earlier reports of Melbournians being hospitalised due to ‘thunderstorm asthma’, 20-year-old law student Hope Carnevali has been identified as one of two people to die following yesterday’s storm.
Carnevali died after waiting on her front lawn for an ambulance that, due to overwhelming demand, took more than 30 minutes to arrive.
Her family, who attempted CPR throughout the wait, have described Carnevali as a “kind-hearted, beautiful” woman.
According to an Ambulance Victoria Spokesman: “There were two cases] where patients with respiratory symptoms were unable to be revived by paramedic crews. Our thoughts are with the families of those patients. We will carry out a full clinical review into these cases.”
And in what’s looking like an honest-to-god epidemic, paramedics fear more deaths may have occurred during the night that are yet to be formally announced.
With most ambulances experiencing a six-fold increase in demand throughout the night, an unnamed intensive care paramedic said that he’d heard of “numerous deaths“.
The uptake in demand also meant hospitals ran short on key resources such as oxygen and Ventolin before the Health Department sent out more this morning.
Despite these difficulties, some people were able to access help. Guo Lo rushed himself to St. Vincent’s Hospital while struggling to breathe, and told 9News that:
“I felt like I was dying. They [medical staff] saved my life.”
Source: The Age.