Outrage over woman left to die at subway

By Fang Yang Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-27 23:18:07

The death of a 35-year-old woman, who died 50 minutes after collapsing and being left unattended at a subway entrance in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, has prompted heated discussion about the lack of first aid awareness from all sides.

Liang Ya, a manager from IBM's Shenzhen office, fainted and collapsed at the entrance of Shuiwan station at 10:29 am on February 17. A man and a woman reported the case to subway staff at 10:32 am.

A number of people passed by, and subway staff and police officers were at the site, but no one attended to her or gave first aid treatment until the ambulance arrived and pronounced her dead, according to a Thursday report on Nandu Daily.

"Why was no one trying to save my child?" Liang's 80-year-old father cried after watching the footage from the surveillance camera at the police station which recorded the last 50 minutes of Liang's life.

The public's lack of first aid awareness, the failure to take emergency measures by staff at the subway station and the 30 minutes the ambulance took to get to the scene were all questioned by the public.

"We received the call from the subway station at 10:46 am and arrived at the scene at 11: 16 am, and Liang was already dead," a staff member of the Shenzhen emergency center surnamed Yu told the Global Times on Thursday, adding that the emergency center took steps in accordance with their protocols.

Yu said that the ambulance in Shenzhen Shekou People's Hospital, the nearest one, had been sent out at the time, so they sent out another ambulance from the second-nearest at Shenzhen Nanshan Hospital.

According to Baidu map, the distance between the subway station and the two hospitals are 1.5 kilometers and 6.3 kilometers respectively, and take a minimum time of eight minutes and 26 minutes to reach.

Yu said that the emergency call should have been made earlier.

However, it took 10 minutes for the subway staff to make the emergency call after they found Liang, according to Nandu Daily.

While some believed that Liang could have been saved if someone had tried to resuscitate her right after she fell down, others argued that it would also be risky to give first aid without receiving professional training.

Shenzhen Metro Group Company stressed in a statement on Thursday evening that their workers received primary first aid training yearly and had provided help to passengers before.

"Liang didn't respond to the staff's inquiries and they were unable to judge her condition," said the company, adding that the subway staff didn't dare to give aid recklessly and had to wait for the professionals.

"It depends on whether the staff have received first aid training and their capabilities," Hou Enbo, a manager of Shenyang Metro Group Company, told the Global Times.

Hou said that although some metro companies provide first aid training, the specific requirements for extreme situations like this are hard to clarify.

"If the patient is in serious condition, we still need to wait for the professional emergency workers," Hou added.

The cause of Liang's death is still unknown, and Liang's parents did not want an autopsy performed, according to Nandu Daily.

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