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The illness caused by pregnant mothers eating too much egg and taking too much medicine

les in an ambulance to Bristol. Dr Bob Winter, president of the Intensive Care Society, said transfers of such distances put lives at "serious risk".

"Quite obviously the health of a critically ill person will deteriorate in the back of a moving ambulance," he said. "The bigger the distance travelled, the more dangerous the situation.

"We would like to see 95 per cent of patients treated at the hospital they present at and not so many carted around the country."

One junior doctor working in London, who did not wish to be named, said transferring patients, especially children, was " like a horrendous game of musical chairs", adding: "Earlier this week a woman died while waiting for us to find her suitable alternative accommodation.

"The situation is immensely distressing but the only solution is to get funds for more intensive care beds."

In March Angela Borzoni, 69, died of a cardiac arrest after she was transferred from the Whittington Hospital following an operation to remove her spleen. Despite her fragile state she was taken on a 50-mile trip to Bedford.

Dr Allan Goldman, an intensive care consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, which has had to transfer 55 children and babies this year, said hospitals were often faced with challenging situations which concerned clinical complications as well as bed shortages.

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Bob Winter Bristol Intensive Care Society


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