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Hospital 'culpable' in woman's death.


George Psyllides

AN inquest into the death of a 53-year-old Nicosia woman who was undergoing brain surgery at a private hospital to remove a benign tumour has found indications of medical culpability, it emerged yesterday."Her death was due to heart failure caused by profuse haemorrhage stemming from injury to the Superior Sagittal Sinus (SSS, which runs through the centre of the brain), during the removal of the tumour," Judge Charalambos Charalambous said in his findings. "Based on the evidence, there are indications that third persons are responsible for her death."The woman died on November 6, 2006.In his findings, the judge listed a series of observations stemming from the evidence:There were only one doctor and an anaesthesiologist during the operation when "in such operations there are usually three to four doctors present including an angiologist, a vascular surgeon and two neurosurgeons while the presence of two anaesthesiologists is also advisable," the judge's report said.The hospital did not have any blood for an emergency. Blood for the patient was only sought after her vital signs were lost, the judge said.The report said the craniotomy was improperly done and in the wrong place and stitching up the SSS injury was not possible."All evidence and the views of witness two and witness three point to, with sufficient documentation and certainty, that the SSS was injured during the surgery and the effort to remove the tumour," the judge said.He said the injury caused profuse haemorrhage, which could not be tackled quickly and effectively, due to the lack of doctors, blood and the craniotomy."Finally, it should be noted that despite efforts and searching by the police, the family and the coroner, it was not possible to locate the deceased's medical file" at the hospital where it should have been kept in accordance with the law.In Cyprus, the coroner has no authority, if there is a criminal offence, to prosecute anyone or resolve any civil suits."The proceedings and evidence of an inquest must be directed solely to ascertaining who the deceased was and how, when and where he came by his death," the report said.The exclusive right of prosecution is bestowed on the Attorney-general who in this case will study the inquest's report and decide whether to order a criminal investigation.Depending on the findings of that investigation the Attorney-general will decide whether to prosecute.According to the family's lawyer Orestis Nikitas, the family has filed a civil suit demanding damages against the doctor.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Sep 11, 2010
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