Review launched into death of infant in Eckville

Alberta Health Services officials have launched a review after an Eckville mother waited nearly half an hour for an ambulance to arrive to care for her unresponsive baby.

Alberta Health Services officials have launched a review after an Eckville mother waited nearly half an hour for an ambulance to arrive to care for her unresponsive baby.

Six-month-old Peyton Rae Dial could not be revived by Rimbey ambulance workers who arrived about 25 minutes after being dispatched on March 21, and the baby was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Her mother, Angela Tjostheim-Dial, told a Calgary newspaper that she will never know whether the ambulance’s late arrival prevented potentially life-saving intervention.

“It honestly felt like (the wait was) forever . . . . I felt as though I couldn’t breathe, it was like time standing still,” said Tjostheim-Dial, who called 911 at about 1 p.m. after finding her baby unresponsive.

“You’d think the fact I said, ‘I think my baby is dead,’ they would have come faster,” the mother stated.

Closer ambulances are stationed in Eckville and Sylvan Lake. But a preliminary review done by Alberta Health Services found that ambulances in the immediate area were busy with three on-going emergencies when Tjostheim-Dial called 911.

The nearest available ambulance was dispatched within one minute of her call, but it had to arrive from Rimbey, about 25 minutes away. An ambulance also arrived from Red Deer at about the same time.

Alberta Health Services sends sympathy to the Tjostheim-Dial family, and is reviewing the case further, spokesman Don Stewart said Tuesday. No time line was set for the review’s conclusion.

“Out of respect for the family and as the review is ongoing, AHS will not comment further at this time,” he added.

Some Edmonton paramedics previously spoke out about how long wait times were potentially putting lives at risk.

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