Bingo goes on in Derby despite cardiac arrest

Gala Bingo Image copyright Google
Image caption Gala said its callers carry on to "create a calm environment" for a seriously ill player

A bingo operator has said it is normal procedure to carry on calling even if a player is taken seriously ill mid-game.

Diane Jordan, a player at Gala Bingo in Derby, said she was "disgusted" when the caller carried on while an 87-year-old woman had a cardiac arrest on Wednesday and later died.

Gala said the policy was to "create as calm an environment as possible" for the ill player.

The firm said that in this case it was felt to be the "best way".

'No respect'

Ms Jordan said paramedics spent 15 minutes performing CPR in front of 180 to 200 players in the middle of the bingo hall on Liversage Street.

"There was no respect shown to that lady, no respect shown to the customers in the hall," she said.

"It wasn't raining, there was a massive car park outside. They could have cleared some space and given her some dignity."

In a statement, Gala confirmed the incident took place and that the woman had later died.

"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/family and our qualified first aider until the emergency services arrive," the statement read.

"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."

A spokesman for the Bingo Association said that games "always continue" during these "unfortunate but not infrequent" incidents.

"Whilst this initially sounds harsh it is the best way of ensuring control over the situation particularly where in some cases you have up to 1,000 people all playing bingo in a confined area."

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