Wasp sting victim's sheepdogs delayed ambo

NSW ambulances should carry dog treats and toys to distract aggressive dogs, a coroner says, after sheepdogs stopped paramedics treating a dying man.

As Tony Bugeja was dying from a wasp sting reaction, his loyal sheepdogs were standing guard outside his home - and they would not let the paramedic through the front door.

Now Coroner Hugh Dillon has recommended that all of the state's ambulances carry dog treats and toys to distract aggressive dogs in such cases.

Mr Bugeja was a hard-working truck driver and father from Wilberforce, northwest of Sydney.

He had a wife and three children, and he suffered from a severe allergy to wasp stings.

On the day he was fatally stung, he was working alone on a new house he was building next to the existing home where he and his family lived.

An inquest into Mr Bugeja's death found that he kept with him two EpiPens - portable injectors that treat anaphylaxis - in case he was stung by a wasp.

In 2013 he used one to successfully treat a sting.

But on March 5, 2014, the pen he used did not cure him.

Mr Bugeja called an ambulance, and the receiver noticed he was having trouble breathing. The call dropped out after 65 seconds.

The ambulance, which came from a station 22 kilometres away from Mr Bugeja's home, arrived 25 minutes after his call.

The paramedic tried to enter the house but was confronted by two Maremma sheepdogs, which barked and growled at him at the gate.

He contacted ambulance radio to advise of the dogs' presence and that he required assistance.

The medic then attempted to get closer but was prevented by the dogs, and did not enter the home until two more paramedics arrived.

This was 40 minutes after Mr Bugeja's emergency call. They found him in the bathroom. He had already died.

The EpiPen Mr Bugeja used was later found to have expired the month before, in February 2014.

A second EpiPen was found unused in the kitchen cupboard.

"NSW Ambulance Service should consider equipping its emergency vehicles with a stock of dog treats or a dog toy to be used to distract dogs if necessary when attending emergencies," Mr Dillon said.

Source AAP

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