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Cyclist died after ambulances failed to find Olympic velodrome

London Ambulance Service’s sat-nav devices hadn’t been updated with new roads in Stratford
Ambulances called to London’s Olympic velodrome at Lee Valley Velopark when a cyclist suffered a heart attack took almost half an hour to get there because of out-of-date satellite navigation software, it has emerged. The victim, a 60-year-old man, died later in hospital.
 
The incident, which has been the subject of a London Ambulance Service report, happened in August last year, 18 months after the velodrome, built for the London 2012 Olympic Games, reopened.
 
The man was taking part in a session on the track when he suffered a cardiac arrest, reports the London Evening Standard.
 
The 60-year-old man went into cardiac arrest in August last year at a track cycling session in Stratford, reports BBC News London.
 
Dispatchers sent three vehicles - two ambulances and an advanced paramedic - to the scene at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, but their sat-nav software had not been updated to show new roads.
 
It took them 27 minutes to arrive, compared to a maximum target arrival time when someone’s life is at risk of eight minutes.
 
Staff at the velodrome provided medical assistance, including using a defibrilator, until LAS personnel reached the scene.
 
According to the LAS report, the length of time it took personnel to arrive was because of the “E20 Olympic Park not displaying on the sat-nav system.”
 
The service maintained it had “taken steps to improve knowledge of the area,”
 
It said: "In response, mapping books were updated detailing the Olympic Park and E20 area and subsequent updates in November 2015 to the Garmin system now detail the area and road network."
 
The report found that the circumstances constituted a “serious” patient safety incident - one of 62 in 2015, up 41 per cent on the previous year.
 
LAS’s medical director, Dr Fenella Wrigley, said that its systems had been brought up to date and that details of road changes had been communicated to staff.
 
“We are very sorry for the delay in reaching the patient,” she added.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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