Plea for answers

LOSING a loved one is never an easy part of life and when that loved one is as young as seven months old, it’s even more difficult to fathom the circumstances surrounding the infant’s death.

On our front page today, the family of seven-month-old Setareki Ravato are still trying to come to terms with the loss of their child — who they claim died early this month as a result of negligence on the part of doctors.

The family claimed that despite the severity of the child’s “diarrhoea and vomiting”, doctors did not admit him.

Over the next few days, the family claimed they pleaded for medical assistance as the child’s health had not improved despite taking the prescribed medicine.

The child eventually died and the post-mortem examination revealed he suffered from severe acute gastroenteritis or the sudden inflammation or swelling in the lining of the stomach.

There are many questions arising from this unfortunate incident and there will be interest over who will be ultimately responsible for the death of the child.

There are some who would say the family did the right thing by taking the child to hospital when the illness came on and persistently requested a thorough diagnosis and check-up by the medical professionals on duty.

Some would easily lay blame on the doctors who allegedly did not admit the child.

But there are many factors that come into play when we talk about negligence even an insinuation of doctor’s negligence.

Did the doctors do the right thing? Was the medication properly administered to the child?

Why wasn’t the child admitted to hospital?

Many people depend and trust medical professionals with their lives, simply because the profession demands specific training and knowledge over a long period of time and when incidents such as this happen, it should not be taken lightly because the last thing anyone wants is a repeat of this tragic event.

We are told the Lautoka Hospital has launched an investigation into the death of the infant after the family lodged a complaint and while the outcome of the inquiry is not yet known, the family continues to seek answers and justice for the child.

Whether the findings of the inquiry will provide the family some closure, the incident will definitely be a wake-up call for everyone to be on their toes when dealing with children and their health.

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