Over 200 bingo players were shocked at a Gala Bingo club in Derby recently when their game carried on despite a pensioner suffering a heart attack during the session.
But players were encouraged to continue playing the game, all whilst paramedics were fighting to save the victim’s life in front of them.
Several of the players were clearly and understandably uncomfortable with what was going on and shouted for the hall to be cleared. In response, one caller told them to leave if they weren’t happy.
Gala Bingo said staff had followed ‘correct procedures’ in order to create “as calm an environment as possible, to reduce the distress for the customer”.
But horrified witnesses like Diane Jordan said the reality was very different for those involved.
“It was absolutely disgusting” she firmly stated.
“I was there with my daughter and sister, and we were all sitting around enjoying ourselves, just chatting away, when an announcement came over the microphone saying a lady had passed out but that they were going to continue playing the Party Xtra bingo.
Mrs Jordan said the situation was a lot more serious than they first thought and that paramedics were doing CPR on her for at least 15 minutes before more arrived and then gave her electric shocks.
“She wasn’t covered up, she was in full view of everybody. The whole incident was in full view of everybody.”
Mrs Jordan then claims that a bingo caller caused further upset with a shocking announcement.
“He said that if we weren’t happy with the situation we should go to the counter, get our money back and leave the building. That was the guy actually calling the bingo.”
The woman had collapsed right in the middle of the hall with tables and chairs either side of her, and no respect was shown to her or the customers of the hall, says Mrs Jordan.
“If they had made an announcement to say they weren’t going to continue playing bingo until it was sorted out and the lady was taken in the ambulance, then I don’t think there would have been any problem whatsoever. Mrs Jordan claims: “The truth is they were encouraging people to spend money.”
Gala Bingo continued their statement on the incident: “Our initial approach in such instances is to create as calm an environment as possible to reduce the stress for the customer in question, their friends and family and our qualified first aider until the emergency services arrive.
In this case it was felt that the best way of dealing with this particular incident, was to continue with the table top bingo, however we delayed the main stage bingo until the customer had been taken to hospital. Our staff are trained to deal with situations like this and carried out all the correct procedures until the paramedics arrived.”
Tragically, the 87 year old woman later died in hospital.