Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mother seeks justice

Giving evidence at the inquiry into the death of a 5 year old girl at the Colombo Nawaloka Hospital, the mother today pleaded in Court not to let the investigations into the death of her daughter is covered up by the money power.
The 40 year old Indumathi Ekanayake a resident of Heiyantuduwa told Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne that she was making such a request because similar tragedies could happen to other patients in the future. The Magistrate observed that he would conduct a fair inquiry in accordance with the legal provisions vested in him.
The witness said, on January 31 she brought her daughter to the Nawaloka Hospital in Colombo because she was suffering from minor symptoms similar to a fit. She said it was the first time that the child had suffered from such abnormal behaviour. The mother said the doctor who checked the child recommended three blood tests and to obtain an MRI scan report. The witness said after being anesthetized, her daughter Buddhini Kaushalya Ratnayake was put into the MRI scanning machine and a sound was heard after 30 minutes.
“There were only a doctor and a technician inside the MRI scan room when the incident happened. I heard the doctor shouting that the balloon had exploded and nobody was there to assist him. I pushed off a ward attendant towards the room because there was nobody inside the room to help the doctor. When my daughter was pulled out from the machine, I saw, she had turned blue and the belly had become swollen. Other doctors came there only after eight or ten minutes had lapsed,” the witness said.
“Then they admitted my child to the ICU and put on a vacuum machine when I told them her body was so cold. They were deceiving us for a period of four days. On the fourth day I saw ants entering her nose,” she said.
She said one of the doctors who were in the hospital told her that the death was not due to the fault of hospital management. She further complained to court that although her daughter had died inside the MRI scan machine; the hospital management had concealed this fact and declared that she died four days later.
Meanwhile, the Magistrate observed that officials of the hospital would be summoned to give evidence in connection with the incident on the next hearing date and further magisterial inquiry was fixed for February 18.
Counsel Ravindranath Dabare and Rushanka Samaranayake appeared for the aggrieved party. Counsel Arosha Koggalawellala and Akalanka Ukwatta appeared for Nawaloka Hospital.

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