Beatrice Vance of Waukegan, IL arrived at the emergency room of Vista Medical Center East at 10:15 pm on July 28 complaining of chest pains. After sitting in the waiting room for more than two hours, she was found unconscious and without a pulse. At 2 a.m., she was pronounced dead of a heart attack because of a blocked artery.
Deputy Coroner Robert Barrett said Beatrice Vance’s symptoms should have alerted hospital personnel to administer an electrocardiogram, conduct cardiac monitoring, and administer blood thinners and other medications. None of this was done in time. The coroner’s jury ruled Ms. Vance’s death a homicide.
There are two issues at stake here. One, was Beatrice Vance’s symptoms belittled because she was a woman? Many studies have found that women receive a lower quantity and quality of cardiac healthcare.
Two, Ms. Vance and her daughter, Monique, probably should have called an ambulance when they decided she needed medical attention. Emergency medical technicians have the training and equipment to give immediate treatment for heart attacks. If at any time you experience the symptoms of a heart attack, call an ambulance. Do NOT drive yourself to the hospital.