The family of a man who is believed to have died of a cardiac arrest en route to hospital in Cork has called for an urgent investigation.

Thomas Power, from Bell Lake near Dunmore East, was en route by ambulance from University Hospital Waterford to Cork yesterday afternoon.

The 38-year-old is believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest while in the ambulance when it was halfway to Cork, near Dungarvan.

Mr Power had driven himself to University Hospital Waterford earlier in the day after he felt unwell.

His family says that after an initial assessment at University Hospital Waterford a decision was made to send him to Cork as there are not adequate cardiac facilities at weekends at the hospital.

Catherine Power, a sister of the dead man, told RTÉ that what has happened is shocking and the family believes his death would have been prevented if there was 24/7 cardiac care available in Waterford.

In a statement, University Hospital Waterford confirmed that a cardiac patient died in transit to Cork yesterday and extended its deepest sympathies to his family.