Health minister „affected” by fatal case of pregnant mother of three left unattended for hours in hospital
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Health Minister Alexandru Rafila said that he was „very seriously affected” by the fatal medical neglect case that sent ripples of outrage through Romanian society, of a 26-year-old pregnant mother of three who died at the Maternity Hospital in Botosani after being left unattended over night for seven hours. Rafila said that more work should be done to improve the doctor-patient relationship, told Agerpres.
He mentioned that the Romanian College of Physicians, the Botosani College of Physicians and the Police were notified.
„The Health Ministry has a specialized structure – the State Sanitary Inspectorate that can control sanitary conditions, and which reported on the lack of action of the medical staff for seven hours in a patient with a stalled pregnancy. We also notified the other institutions that each have a share of responsibility, namely the Romanian College of Physicians – since we are discussing medical practice, and the right to free practice is granted exclusively by the said professional body, we also notified the Botosani College of Physicians – as there is a county jurisdiction, and the National Authority for Health Quality Management. This incident that terribly upset and affected us also led to the decision to notify the Botosani County Police, because I don’t think this has so much to do with a medical error but rather with lack of interest and empathy. (…) It is clear that the lack of action seriously endangered the safety of this young woman whose death also left three children without a mother,” Rafila explained.
26-year old Alexandra Ivanov, who was three months pregnant, died on Friday morning, almost nine hours after being admitted to the Botosani Maternity Hospital on Thursday evening, around 11:30 p.m., with abdominal pain and hemorrhage.
After running a set of tests and putting her on an IV, the medical staff ignored her all night. On Friday morning the patient’s condition took a sharp turn for the worse and she died in the intensive care unit.
A preliminary report by the Botosani Public Health Directorate notes that the woman did not receive any medical care for almost seven hours. The diagnosis set upon Alexandra Ivanov’s admission to hospital was „stalled pregnancy, minor metrorrhagia, secondary anemia”.
The health inspectors determined that „from 00:45, when she was administered physiological serum and a medicine, until 07:35 a.m. the young patient received no more medical attention.
Iasi-based Prof. Dr. Mircea Onofriescu, OB/GYN primary physician, suggested that the woman may have suffered a pulmonary embolism, and condemns the lack of communication during the night with the medical staff. „It’s most likely that a pulmonary embolism occurred. This is a major emergency that requires intensive care treatment by a multidisciplinary team: cardiologist, intensive care specialist, obstetrician, internist and so on. The forensic pathology result will show the cause of this unfortunate fatal case,” said Prof. Dr. Mircea Onofrescu.