Paramedic said patient had a ‘migraine’ when she suffered a stroke

Paramedic who dismissed patient who had suffered a stroke by saying: ‘What a load of b******s, it’s only a migraine’ is struck off

  • Paramedic Kristian William refused to give the suffering patient any pain relief  
  • He dismissed concerns from colleagues who said the woman was in intense pain
  • It was later discovered by doctors the woman had suffered a bleed on the brain

A paramedic has been struck off after he told a patient ‘What a load of b******s, it’s only a migraine’ – when she had suffered a stroke after a bleed on the brain. 

Kristian Williams, who did not attend the tribunal in Lambeth, London and gave evidence over the phone, dismissed concerns from colleagues who said that the woman was in so much pain she was rocking back and forth and retching. 

He even refused to give her painkillers after arriving on the scene in February 2016 – despite her saying she had a ‘thunderclap headache’.

Kristian Williams was struck off as a paramedic after he told a woman that she only had a migraine – when she had suffered a stroke (STOCK photo)

Williams’ colleagues told a Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) hearing that the paramedic made a string of mistakes, leaving the patient in considerable pain until she was taken to hospital.

She described feeling a ‘pop’ go off inside her head followed by intense pain. 

The ambulance crew member first on the scene described telling Williams how she had given the patient pain relief, but it had been vomited up.

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She added that she repeatedly asked Williams to give the patient more pain relief, which he did not.

She and her colleague both reported hearing him say: ‘What a load of b******s, it’s only a migraine’.

Williams claimed the patient did not say she was in pain, was not feeling sick and did not, in his experience, ‘look like someone with a severe subarachnoid haemorrhage’.

It was later discovered the patient had suffered a stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain – a condition which can be fatal.

Williams, who joined the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in 2004, has now been struck off for the allegation alongside five other counts of misconduct.

A report by the HCPTS said: ‘The first responder explains that Patient A had had a sudden ”thunderclap headache” and she felt as though something had gone ”pop” inside her head.

‘She was rocking back and forth, retching and largely unable to communicate.

‘The first responder said she repeatedly asked Williams to give Patient A pain relief.

‘Williams did not give pain relief and this is accepted by him and his evidence is corroborated by the evidence given from the witnesses.

‘Both witnesses refer to Williams using the words ‘what a load of bollocks’ and ‘it’s just a migraine’.’

In the panel’s decision, they said that the continuing risk to patients meant it would be inappropriate to take no action.

It said: ‘Williams demonstrated no real insight into his clinical failings. Further, in acting dishonestly, Williams abused the trust his employers were entitled to place in him.

‘As a result of Williams’ failings, this patient suffered harm. She was left suffering, in considerable pain, wholly unnecessarily, until she was taken to the hospital and treated there.

‘The Panel found that, given the seriousness of the misconduct, the continuing risk of harm to patients and the continuing risk of dishonest behaviour, it would be inappropriate to take no action.

‘The Panel, therefore, considered that the only appropriate and proportionate order would be a striking off order.’

A striking off order prohibits the Williams from practising as a paramedic.

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