Young Woman's Death Sparks Outrage Across France
A recent release of an emergency call transcript has angered citizens all over France. Last December, Naomi Musenga, made a desperate call to Strasbourg's ambulance service complaining of stomach pain, telling the operator that she was going to die. The recording details the worker replying to Musenga that everyone will die one day. The three-minute call shows the 22-year-old Musenga appealing for help before the operator gave Musenga another number to call after she apparently became frustrated about not being able to understand Musenga through her struggles.
The Samu operator gave Musenga the number for the SOS Médecins doctor service. However, that call was made too late and Musenga was forced to wait five hours before being transferred to a hospital. She later died at the hospital after suffering a heart attack. Initially suffering a stroke, Musenga was transferred to the intensive care unit after experiencing a hemorrhagic shock that led to the failure of multiple organs. The health minister of France has ordered an investigation into the incident.
Transcripts of the audio call to Samu also show the operator laughing with another colleague during her conversation with Musenga. Although the case dates back to last winter, Musenga's family recently released the transcript in an effort to bring the case to light and fight for justice for their beloved family member. #JusticePourNaomi has been trending on Twitter and Facebook as more citizens become aware of the situation and demand that the people responsible for the incident are held accountable. Following the release of the transcript, Strasbourg University Hospitals suspended the operator who first spoke with Musenga.
The shocking case has brought to light what many public health officials view as a bigger issue rooted in France's lack of available ambulatory services. Since 1988, the number of ambulance calls has skyrocketed from eight million to 21 million today, while services have not been able to keep with the growing demand.
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