HCMC family claims hospital negligence paralyzed their child

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Parents have accused a Ho Chi Minh City hospital of carelessness after their child was left mostly-paralyzed by an intestinal surgery last month.

Nguyen Hoang An Khoa, 11 months old, walked and ate normally before he was sent to the Children’s Hospital No.1 in December for treatment of an intestinal occlusion. But when his heart stopped for a period and both legs and arms went paralyzed after the surgery, a nurse was unresponsive, the boy’s parents have said. Now he can’t move or breastfeed, they said, arguing that negligence on the nurse’s part was the cause.

The surgery had been successful and the boy’s intestines were fine as of Friday, but his family said they would keep him at the hospital until he recovers entirely.

“The hospital must be responsible for the case and must treat my child to a full recovery,” An Thi Phuong, Khoa’s mother, was quoted by local newswire Vnexpress as saying Friday.

Phuong said Khoa’s day-care instructor had called in mid-December to inform her that he had vomited. The child was then given some medicine from a private clinic but his condition worsened and the boy was then hospitalized on December 15. He received the surgery three hours later at 1:30 a.m.

The mother said she then found her son “frozen” and with bruises all over his body in a recovery room at 5a.m., when family was allowed to first visit the boy after surgery.

“I then urgently called a nurse sitting around one meter away, but she shouted back at me and then continued sitting there writing something.

“Two minutes after that, his grandmother found that his heart stopped. I called the nurse one more time and only then did several nurses come to take him away.”

Phuong said the nurse was irresponsible and heartless. “Her reaction caused my child to lack oxygen to his brain and led to his condition right now.”

The nurse has tried to avoid her family since, she said.

But Dao Trung Hieu, deputy director of the hospital, told Vnexpress on Friday the child’s heart stopped due to the severity of his condition, not due to the nurse’s slow response.

Although admitting that a lack of oxygen to the brain had paralyzed the child and stopped his heart, and even admitting that the nurse hadn’t done her job, Hieu said the nurse was not responsible for the child’s condition right now.

Hieu said the child was hospitalized rather late with dehydration and an intestinal infection. He described the boy’s condition upon admittance to the hospital as dire.

The doctors had failed to inform the family of the severity of the child’s condition in the first instance and had decided to operate immediately to save his life, he said.

Hospital directors said they would punish the nurse strictly.

It’s still unknown how long Khoa’s heart had stopped.

Source: Thanh Nien

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