A woman who failed to have her heart attack spotted by hospital staff for over three hours fears someone will die if it is allowed to happen again.
Amanda Paterson, 42, from Kelty, in Fife, went to the minor injuries clinic at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline complaining of severe chest pains.
Little did she know that three and a half hours later paramedics would be rushing her under blue lights to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary having finally realised she was suffering a heart attack.
Earlier, at around 1.30pm, Mrs Paterson, a diabetic who had never suffered any chest pains before, told staff she thought it was muscle pain or a severe bout of indigestion following which a triage nurse took her blood pressure and heart rate.
She was then asked to wait for an ambulance transfer to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
It was only when paramedics arrived to pick her up that an ECG scan was conducted which alerted them to the seriousness of her condition.
“Looking back at it now I’m lucky to be alive, ” said Mrs Paterson.
“I’d gone there with chest pains but staff didn’t seem overly concerned so was placed in a side room.
“Medical staff popped in a couple of time to see if I was comfortable but apart form that we just had to wait.
“It was when the ambulance crew finally arrived at about 5pm that they were concerned enough to give me an ECG.
“I remember the paramedic commenting that the results were “not pretty” then it all got a lot more serious.
“The ambulance crew had been given orders to leave me and collect someone else but they radioed back in that I was an emergency and they rushed me to Edinburgh with the lights flashing and sirens blaring.
“I was shocked by the urgency of getting me to the hospital as I had not been told I was having a heart attack at that point.”
Mr Paterson said her condition had not worsened in the time since first arriving at Queen Margaret Hospital on the October afternoon.
“My condition had not deteriorated in any way from when I arrived so I’m very concerned that my heart attack was not noticed a whole lot sooner,” she said.
Later that evening Mrs Paterson was operated on and had a stent fitted.
“I’m just glad I’m still here but this can’t be allowed to happen to someone else, as next time someone could end up dead.”
The family are now considering a formal complaint the health services over the way the incident was handled.
The health board declined to comment on the incident.
A spokesperson said: ““NHS Fife is unable to discuss individual patients or their care.”