Kulhudhuffushi Hospital accused of negligence in treating baby with dengue

A photo of the baby's hand, whose family has accused Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital of negligence in the insertion of a cannula for a blood transfusion following a positive dengue diagnosis.

The family of an eight-month-old baby has accused Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital of negligence while treating the baby who tested positive for dengue.

A family member shared the details of the incident with Sun. In this regard, the family member said the parents had first sought medical care for the baby on May 12th, when they were prescribed medicine and told to return if there is no improvement in the baby’s condition.

The parents reconsulted after the baby’s condition deteriorated and the baby began vomiting. As per the family member, the doctor had concluded that the baby had a viral fever and discharged the baby home.

“The baby is one who is usually very active at home. Because the baby, who is usually so active, was staying still and began vomiting, was taken to the hospital again. Anyone who can see can deduce the baby was in a weak condition,” the family member said.

The family member detailed that medical care was sought for the baby approximately five times from May 12th to Sunday, despite which no tests were done.

The parents returned to the hospital on Monday morning after the baby’s condition even deteriorated further.

“That day, the baby’s mom told the ER that she would not leave without doing any tests. That this condition warranted some issue. That she wished to conduct tests. Despite this, the hospital was still against conducting any tests, citing it would be very difficult because it was a baby,” the family member recalled.

Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital. (Photo/Kulhudhuffushi Live)

The family member said the parents and the baby were released home after stating the results of the tests would be ready at 14:00pm. The parents returned to the hospital, with the baby, at 14:00pm to collect the results, they added.

“It was positive for dengue when they returned with the baby at two. The report was concerning. Liver function was low and there were kidney issues as well,” the family member said, adding the baby was immediately admitted for treatment following the results.

The baby was to be treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), henceforth, the family had requested to transfer the baby to Male’. However, the family member said the hospital responded by saying they could only decide on the transfer following a second set of tests.

The results of the sample that were taken on Monday evening were received at approximately 7:00pm. As per the family member, the results had shown the baby’s condition was continuing to deteriorate further, with the baby’s platelet count and blood count decreased.

Henceforth, the family hurried to transfer the baby to Male’ City, said the family member. In this regard, arrangements were made without hassle to transfer the baby at 12:30am early Tuesday morning.

“The mom had left the baby to get ready to go to the airport at 12:30. The baby received a blood transfusion during this period. When the baby’s mother returned, she noticed the baby was swollen. She thought it was because the baby cried,” the family member further detailed.

According to the family member, the mother had only noticed that the site where a cannula was inserted into the baby was swollen due to the cannula moving when she got on the hospital’s elevator with the baby to go to the airport. In this regard, blood had been injected into the baby’s muscles because the cannula had gotten bent.

“When they checked before the baby was taken, they would have known it had happened to the baby’s hand,” the family member added.

The baby is currently being treated at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ City which has told the family that the baby would need to undergo surgery for the hands if the site where blood had been injected into the baby's muscles does not heal. However, the condition of the baby is improved, reported the family.

The baby’s family alleges negligence by Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital in treatment, citing the baby’s condition would not have deteriorated to this level if tests were conducted on the first day the baby was consulted.

The hospital did not respond to calls from Sun seeking a comment regarding the allegations. 

Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital has previously been accused of negligence as well.