An investigation is underway to find out if a fall from a stretcher at a Napier airport contributed to the death of a Hawke's Bay man.

The man is understood to have returned safely by air ambulance to Hawkes Bay Airport in Napier on May 7. However, after disembarking from the aircraft it is believed a wheeled stretcher being used to take the man to a waiting ambulance fell over.

His subsequent death last week, has now been referred to the Coroner.

The man was in the care of Hawke's Bay District Health at the time.


A spokeswoman for Hawke's Bay District Health confirmed a formal review of the incident was underway.

"Hawke's Bay District Health Board is conducting a formal review into the circumstances associated with an accident that occurred as a patient was being transferred to a road ambulance after safely disembarking from an air ambulance."

The DHB was in regular contact with the family,

"The patient's death was referred to the Coroner by Capital & Coast DHB."

Capital and Coast DHB declined to comment as the matter was before the Coroner.

Skyline Aviation, which operated the air ambulance, referred all comment to Hawke's Bay DHB.

Hawke's Bay Airport confirmed it had no operational involvement in the matter.