An elderly man in his 90’s has died near Tesco after security staff allegedly refused to hand over a defibrillator to people trying to save his life.
Shopper Samantha Badger claims staff at the Tesco Extra in Gillingham, Kent stopped a member of public from taking the store’s defibrillator, saying ‘it wasn’t for public use’.
Samantha performed CPR on the elderly man after he suffered a suspected heart attack near the store on Wednesday.
She called 999 and was told to get a defibrillator – but this was refused when another member of the public ran in to collect it.
Samantha said the member of staff even phoned Kent Police and reported an ‘attempted theft’ of the life saving machine – before they were told it was actually required.
Shopper Samantha Badger claims staff at the Tesco Extra in Gillingham, Kent stopped a member of public from taking the store’s defibrillator, saying ‘it wasn’t for public use’
The OAP was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived to the scene. Samantha has now hit out at the store, saying she is ‘disgusted’ by their actions.
She posted about the heartbreaking incident on Facebook, prompting calls from the public for the member of staff to be held to account.
Samantha wrote: ‘I’m absolutely disgusted with Gillingham Tescos at Bowaters roundabout!
‘When I woke up today, I didn’t envisage having to perform CPR on my next door neighbour, but as instructed by the 999 emergency service requested.
‘I carried on while the SGN employee ran over to Tesco to grab the defib that the 999 emergency services stated was there for us to use.
‘So I carried on with the CPR as instructed waiting for the defib or ambulance, whichever came first!’
Samantha continued: ‘It was the ambulance I heard as it arrived first and they took over the CPR.
‘Heartbreakingly, the patient had passed away and defib never did turn up because as the workman ran into Tesco and collected it as he was running out of the shop with it, the security guard stopped him and told him that it wasn’t for public use!
‘The distraught man was so upset and explained that the 999 emergency services said to come and get it whilst a lady (me) was performing CPR on a suspected heart attack patient, but they wouldn’t let him leave the store with it.
‘Despite what the emergency services said – I’m appalled! This may have saved this gentleman’s life, but instead the poor chap from SGN & myself fighting desperately to save his life, whilst being denied emergency equipment, meant he sadly didn’t make it!’
Since sharing her experience, Samantha’s post has attracted attention from others who are ‘disgusted’ at the Tesco employee.
One social media user wrote: ‘All those who withheld the equipment should face charges.’
Samantha posted about the heartbreaking incident on Facebook, prompting calls from the public for the member of staff to be held to account
Another commented: ‘Disgusting Tesco so much for every little helps!!!!!’
A third added: ‘This is disgusting I shall not shop in Tesco due to this jobsworth of a security guard.’
A spokesperson for Kent Police said: ‘A call was also received at 9.59am on February 3rd where a member of staff reported the attempted theft of a medical device from inside Tesco in Courtney Road, Gillingham.
‘During this call the caller was informed there was a genuine medical emergency nearby and this was not an attempted theft.’
A spokeswoman for Tesco said yesterday: ‘We’re incredibly sorry to hear about this and are shocked to hear the reported circumstances.
‘It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment further while we are investigating these reports.
‘We have 2,600 defibrillators in stores across the country which are available for anyone to use and we are reminding colleagues of this.’