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Mother sues Ho Chi Minh City hospital over death of 2-month-old son

Mother sues Ho Chi Minh City hospital over death of 2-month-old son

Thursday, July 21, 2022, 15:39 GMT+7
Mother sues Ho Chi Minh City hospital over death of 2-month-old son
Nguyen Thi Thu Lan reacts as she recounted her story to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. Photo: Tuyet Mai / Tuoi Tre

A woman has filed a lawsuit against a major children’s hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, claiming that the infirmary’s oversight resulted in the death of her two-month-old baby.

The People’s Court in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday began the trial for the dispute over compensation for non-contractual damage between the plaintiff – 31-year-old Nguyen Thi Thu Lan from southern Dong Nai Province – and the defendant – Children's Hospital 2.

However, the trial was suspended following a request from the defendant and is expected to reopen on August 15.

The legal petition shows that Lan took her two-month-old son N.T.N. to Children's Hospital 2 in District 1 on October 14, 2020 when he was experiencing difficulty swallowing, mild convulsions, and a low-grade fever.

Two days after the admission, the boy’s genitals became swollen and he was diagnosed with inguinal hernia. Doctors said he needed to undergo a surgery.

As the boy’s convulsions worsened following the surgery, doctors performed a marrow test but they were unable to identify the cause of the condition.

Lan asked if her son could be transferred to the neurology department, but the doctors did not agree.

Early on the morning of October 26, N. suffered continuous convulsions, difficulty breathing, and temporary cardiac arrest. He survived clinical death twice and was no longer in a critical condition.

The boy was transferred to the neurology department the same day and was diagnosed with epilepsy.

However, doctors in the first ward had not prescribed him epilepsy medication.

N. was discharged on November 5 but admitted to the hospital again on November 30 with severe convulsions.

He died at the infirmary on December 11.

Lan believed that her son died because of the negligence and slow response of doctors and other hospital staff.

She repeatedly requested the hospital clarify the cause of N.'s death, but it avoided taking responsibility by keeping silent or giving vague answers.

On May 27, 2021, the municipal Department of Health held a meeting to review the case and concluded that the hospital had made mistakes but it did not apologize or offer compensation to the family.

Lan decided to sue Children's Hospital 2, asking the court to require the hospital to admit that it had erred in the medical examination and treatment process, which led to the death of her son.

She also demanded that the hospital issue a public apology through Phap Luat Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh City Law), Thanh Nien (Young People), and Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspapers, as well as pay VND458 million (US$19,500) to her as compensation.

“The hospital's negligence and irresponsibility seriously infringed on my son's right to life and safety,” Lan said.

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Duy Khang - Tuyet Mai / Tuoi Tre News


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