English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 23, 2020

“…but with the fuel, would the baby have survived?…”

Sep 12, 2019

Prime Minister claimed ambulance would not have saved the life of a six-week-old baby girl who recently died after waiting for an ambulance in Dagana Dzongkhag last month.

He claimed this while interacting with the health professionals who were in the capital to participate in the national symposium on patient safety.

Speaking to over 100 health workers from across the country, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said he is deeply bothered by the death of an infant at Largyab Basic Health Unit in Dagana.

“Dagana incident really bothered me medically, socially and politically as well. I have talked with everyone, I talked with health, medical council and local staff as well. Consistently what has come out is it could not be connected. How can an ambulance be without fuel. I was really disappointed. But with the fuel, would the baby have survived? I doubt,” Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchen claimed they could not have saved the baby as it would have already been too late and the baby would have died on the way.

“I fully agree with the emotions of the parents, but you put your brain behind this. That ambulance from Drukjeygang taking two and a half hours to reach Largyab BHU and pick that baby up and another three to four hours to reach Tsirang Hospital which again does not have the ventilatory support. They have to take another 8 hours to reach JDWNRH. They could have only reached here, the next day. The baby would have already died on the way. We feel bad but we could not have saved the child in any possible way,” Lyonchhen added.

Further, the Prime Minister said there was no gross negligence and the only problem was they could not get in contact with the doctor in Tsirang through the phone.

“The Health Assistant did a good job. He had called everywhere and he had also taken advice from the paediatrician in JDWNRH. And whatever he was advised to do he was going to but the parents refused for some time. From the medical point of view, it was wrong but then parents’ point of view and spiritual point of view it wasn’t. Let’s not blame them, it is not wrong. I don’t think anyone is wrong here.”

However, Lyonchen said he is now trying to find out why they failed to avail for the air ambulance service as it was the only way to save the baby from dying.

Moreover, the Bhutan Medical and Health Council is currently investigating the case and will soon leave for Dagana for further investigations. The baby suffered from Central Cyanosis and had shortness of breath, lethargy and diarrhoea.

Passang Dorji

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