Hospital cleared in death of dengue patient
CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu Provincial Hospital in Danao City cannot be held liable over the death of a dengue patient, according a health official.
Dr. Rene Catan, Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief, said the hospital staff were not remiss in their duties based on the results of their review and fact-finding investigation.
The hospital management was probed for claims of non-admission of kid, who died of dengue on November 29.
“Ang among finding nga wala nagkuwang ang personnel sa pag-atiman sa bata kay una proper referral was done. Ang decision to admit or not to admit was based on protocol. Although ang perception sa public lahi,” Catan said.
Catan said three other specialists concurred that there was no “error of omission.”
In the medical field, malpractice is defined as the commission or omission of an act which causes further injury to a patient due to errors in diagnosis, treatment, care, or health management.
The patient, three-year-old James Francis Gulfan of Carmen town, was robbed off his life after the government-run hospital allegedly refused to admit him, said Arlene Reigo, the child’s aunt, in her viral Facebook post.
The child died a week before his fourth birthday.
Catan clarified that there are protocols in terms of hospital confinement.
For dengue cases, Catan said, a patient has to have a platelet count of around 90 or below before he/she can be admitted.
On first visit on November 26, Gulfan’s platelet count was 242.
“Upon assessing sa bata, good feed, wala’y symptom nga critical na siya. Ang pagpapauli, the mother was given specific instructions nga kung naa gani signs like sakit ang tiyan, labad ang ulo, ibalik ang bata. The next day gibalik ang bata pero hapon na niabot. By the time nga niabot, mubo na ang platelet and ni-undergo siya og shock,” Catan said.
To enhance communication and prevent misconception about doctors’ orders, Catan issued an order yesterday mandating all provincial hospitals to issue written recommendation to the client if there is no need to confine the patient.
The doctors are also encouraged to write the instructions in Cebuano, if necessary.
“Among usbon karon ang pagpasabot sa mga tigtungod. Rather than verbally telling and sending them home, sa among meeting nigawas nga we should come up with written instructions nga klaro sa ilaha ilabina kining critical disease,” he told The FREEMAN.
“If we need to send them home for observation, it should be explained to them nga ilang masabtan and they should sign nga ilang nasabtan so that klaro,” he added.
Moreover, the PHO chief clarified that no hospital is allowed to refuse to confine a patient if the only basis is the availability of accommodation.
If full or incapable of handling the case, a referral must be done, he said. (FREEMAN)