Grant Cook was a much-loved player with the Murwillumbah Mustangs.
Grant Cook was a much-loved player with the Murwillumbah Mustangs. Contributed/Facebook

'Critical' six minutes before rugby league player's death

A CORONIAL inquest into the death of a rugby league player has heard it took more than six minutes for the ambulance control centre to notify the helicopter dispatcher that the young father had gone into cardiac arrest.

Grant Cook, 28, collapsed after a tackle during a match at Murwillumbah in September 2016.

It then took almost half an hour for an ambulance to arrive at the Nullum St fields, the inquest heard.

Mr Cook later died.

Clinical manager of Aeromedical and Retrieval Service for NSW Ambulance Dr Gary Tall said contact between the call centre and the Control Centre helicopter dispatcher, known as the Rapid Launch Trauma Coordinator (RLTC), should have been made immediately.

No helicopter was ever dispatched to the scene by NSW Ambulance and Mr Tall said it was "difficult" for the aeromedical team to "influence the paramedics" who were dealing with the situation on the ground.

"They (paramedics) make split decisions on what they're priorities are … a patient care may be more important than making a phone call at the time," he said.

Dr Tall said there wasn't "anything specific" updated since Mr Cook's death to deal with the need to make the "critical phone call" as quickly as possible.



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