Medical error blamed for death of 8-year-old boy


Published — Sunday 18 November 2012

Last update 18 November 2012 8:44 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

JEDDAH: A health official accused a leading private hospital in Jeddah for colluding with a doctor involved in a fatal medical error.
“The Directorate of Health issued a memo to the private hospital administration requesting them not to allow the expatriate doctor, involved in the child’s death, to flee the country. The memo also made it clear that any other hospital staff involved in the medical error should also be present in the country for interrogations. Any one who conceals facts from the directorate will be punished,” Assistant Director of Health Affairs in Jeddah, Dr. Turki Al-Sharif said.
Salah Al-Deen, son of a leading businessman, Sheikh Yusuf Jameel, died due to a medical error at Dr. Erfan & Bagdeo Hospital in Jeddah on Thursday. The eight-year old boy was taken to the hospital for a checkup, after he developed symptoms of swollen lymphatic glands, following a two-week-long bout of fever.
The mother gave her consent to the doctors, to do the necessary surgery, after she was reassured that it was a simple operation that would only last for 30 minutes. However, the doctors, reportedly, operated upon the boy in an x-ray lab that was not equipped for surgical operations. In the course of anesthesia, the boy was administered nitrogen instead of oxygen. By the time the surgeons discovered the mistake, the circulatory system had been completely damaged. The situation was further exacerbated because the x-ray room was not equipped for emergency cardiac resuscitation. The hospital offered condolences to the bereaved relatives on behalf of the administration and staff members.
The hospital administration, blamed a technical maintenance company for the fatal error, and filed a complaint to the police department against the company, for bungling the medical equipment system.
Al-Sharif however, pointed out, the improper conduct of the hospital administration, after committing a serious medical error. “The hospital administration demonstrated contradictory behavior when they helped the expatriate doctor, suspected to be involved in the fatal medical error, to flee the country, and yet blamed the maintenance company for the death of the child,” Al-Sharif said in a statement to Al-Madinah newspaper.
“The mistake happened inside the x-ray room, when the maintenance company mixed up the oxygen and nitrogen inlets. The company carried out the routine maintenance, without the knowledge of the concerned authorities in the hospital,” the hospital statement said on Thursday.
Al-Shareef said the fault still lies within the hospital administration for appointing unreliable employees.
He said a technical committee is investigating the damage done to the child’s respiratory system caused by the nitrogen supplied by mistake at the time of the surgery. Another engineering committee is investigating the medical equipment used in the hospital.
Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah has been personally following the case and has asked for an urgent report about the cause of the child’s death. The hospital said it is cooperating fully with the officials and that it handed over all the files related to the medical error to the health directorate.
It also demanded the directorate to pass the case to the Shariah Court, to prosecute the people responsible for the child’s death, including the maintenance company.
The hospital also stated that the Ministry of Health had granted them, five months ago, a quality certificate after they scored 95 percent and 87 percent on the ministry’s evaluation.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: An African expat woman is being investigated for torturing her baby to death by pouring boiling water on her. The motive behind the vicious attack is unknown.The Board of Investigation and Prosecution in Jeddah has charged the woman with semi...
RIYADH: Over five million Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs), including more than one million in Saudi Arabia, observed “zero remittance day” on Friday, in protest against the random checking of boxes sent by them to their families back home by the Cu...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health announced on Friday that two more people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. While no deaths were announced, the virus has already killed 26 people in just two weeks, from Aug. 16...
JEDDAH: As international schools in the city gear up for the new academic session, some parents have requested that schools improve the quality of their classes in Islamic studies. Although the Ministry of Education has decreed that all international...
JEDDAH: Health Minister Khaled Al-Falih met with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh on Thursday to discuss the Health Ministry’s proposed ban on sacrificing camels during this year’s Haj.Several health officials accompanied Al-Falih at the meet...
MAKKAH: The executive list of the child protection system has now defined 14 kinds of abuse.These include keeping a child without a family document, not administering compulsory vaccinations, disrupting their education, exposing them to an environmen...

Stay Connected