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Hospital defends use of antibiotics in death of nine-year-old girl

Bahrain News
Thu, 14 Jun 2018
Raji Unnikrishnan


AN antibiotic administered to a child, who allegedly died from a reaction to medicine at a private hospital in Bahrain, was vital to treat her condition, a hospital spokesman said.

The senior doctor also told the GDN the hospital was fully co-operating with authorities investigating the death of nine-year-old Thanusree Sivaraman – and denied the doctor who treated her had fled the country.

He was yesterday responding to questions raised by community members and social media claims that the Indian girl had died from an allergic reaction to an antibiotic administered to her for throat pain.

The GDN reported yesterday that Thanusree was taken to the hospital with severe throat pain on Sunday.

She was given an intravenous antibiotic dose but her legs went numb, she started bleeding from her nose and ears and died soon after.

“Had the antibiotic not been given to her, the hospital would have been held liable,” said the spokesman.

“Unfortunately, the child died.

“The matter is under investigation. All our records are sealed and were taken by the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) within six hours as per regulations.

“We have nothing to hide and we are open for any investigation.”

He also clarified that the Indian female doctor who treated the child had gone on her annual vacation.

“She was due to go on her annual vacation from June 10 to July 14 and it is incorrect to say that she has run away.

“She is still an employee who will resume duty after her vacation.”

Allergic

Sources close to the family and friends alleged that the doctor did not wait for a blood test result before giving her the antibiotic, which the girl was allergic to, as informed by her mother to the doctor.

“We can’t wait for a blood test (which takes time) in such a case, as she was a ‘crashing patient’ (patient who is critically ill) and was septicaemic,” said the spokesman.

“The hospital’s chief paediatrician had called the parents and offered any help they needed, including an explanation of facts related to the case.

“We share the grief of the family and we request all to respect their privacy during this time of sorrow.”

The grade four student of the Bahrain Indian School was the only child of Sivaraman Govindaswamy and Aarthee.

Mr Govindaswamy, who works in Saudi Arabia, has been living in Umm Al Hassam with his family since 2016.

The GDN has learnt that the couple accompanied the child’s body to their native town Tiruchirapally, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday night.

Accused

“Thanusree was a very active child,” said a neighbour.

“She complained of a slight throat pain on Sunday evening when her parents took her to hospital at around 7pm and she died at around 10pm.

“I was with the family. The girl walked into the hospital and we can’t believe she had any serious medical condition from which she died as claimed by the hospital.”

Prominent Tamil community leader Mohammed Malim said he was aware of the case.

“The mother called me on Monday and spoke to me for almost 30 minutes,” he told the GDN.

“She repeatedly accused the doctor of giving antibiotics without checking for allergy.”

NHRA chief executive Dr Maryam Al Jalahma told the GDN on Tuesday that the authority was gathering information on the case.

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