A man in Bac Lieu Province has complained to health authorities that the local provincial hospital failed to diagnose an arterial clot in his son’s broken leg, causing it to develop gangrene and leading to an amputation.
Truong Van That, a member of the province Party unit Inspection Commission, has demanded that the health minister and director of the province health department should spell out the responsibility of the doctors and staff in charge of his son’s case.
That said he took his son to a district hospital following a road accident in early February. Doctors there gave him first aid and transferred him to the provincial hospital, where doctors found his right leg broken above the knee.
That said a doctor named Trieu told him to admit the boy for seven to ten days for him to become more “stable” and get a cast before going home.
But four days later the boy became weak. He could not sleep due to high fever that sometimes caused hallucinations, while the injured leg swelled and turned bruised and numb.
“We were worried and told the doctor in charge, but he checked him briefly and said it’s normal,” That said.
The family asked to transfer him to the Ho Chi Minh City Orthopedics Hospital immediately.
There, doctors found an artery behind his knee blocked, causing gangrene in the lower leg.
They then took him to Children’s Hospital No.1, where doctors said the same, before rushing him to Cho Ray Hospital.
The 8-year-old son of Truong Van That in his home in Bac Lieu Province with one leg amputated after doctors failed to diagnose gangrene following a fracture. Photo: Tran Thanh Phong.
Doctors at Cho Ray, a leading surgical hospital in the city, performed the amputation, leaving just a third of his thigh.
They said the boy should have come earlier.
That said everyone in his family “died on the inside” when the doctors said there was just the one option.
“We couldn’t hold our tears. My son is so young and he has gone from slightly injured to permanently disabled.
“But he wouldn’t be if doctors at Bac Lieu General Hospital had been more responsible and did their jobs.”
He demanded compensation and a public apology to his family from the hospital.
Dr Tran Van Khanh, director of Bac Lieu hospital, admitted that his doctors’ diagnosis had been “deficient.”
“Professionally, doctors are supposed to perform a surgery when a patient’s broken leg turns black and blue,” he said.
But he also tried to defend his staff by saying that it is hard to detect gangrene.
He said the hospital would meet with the family to clarify further.