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22 June, 2024
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Medical malpractice complaint in baby boy’s death

Limassol police investigate wrongful death complaint following the autopsy of an infant who died on Sunday


A private forensic pathologist says the recent hospital death of a baby boy was due to medical negligence that took place in Limassol.

Police sources quoted in local media said the complaint filed did not name specific doctors but pointed to a failure to diagnose the flu and detect the influenza virus.

The baby boy was taken to the ER at Limassol General Hospital on Sunday night, with partial loss of consciousness, and later it was transported to Nicosia due to his critical condition. A private pediatrician, an anesthesiologist and an emergency medic accompanied the boy in a state ambulance from Limassol to Makarios Children’s Hospital in the capital, where the infant died hours later.

Matsakis says a pediatrician should make a judgment call based on the overall physical examination and not rely on a rapid flu test

Marios Matsakis, a forensic pathologist who represented the family during the autopsy on Wednesday, said the post mortem showed that the death of the 20-month-old infant was caused by pneumonia and sepsis which were brought about by the seasonal flu.

According to Matsakis, the baby boy died of a lung infection with sepsis which was complications from Type A flu, adding that there was a failure to do a proper clinical diagnosis on the infant.

“When pediatricians examine a child, they have to focus on the clinical aspect and assess the gravity of the situation,” Matsakis said on local radio, adding that the doctor must evaluate at that point whether to refer a case urgently to the hospital.

Doctors conduct a physical exam to look for signs and symptoms of influenza, where they may also order a test that detects influenza viruses. But there are two tests to detect the flu, according to Matsakis, who said the quick swab sample is not always reliable.

A rapid influenza diagnostics test includes a swab sample from the back of the nose or throat in an effort to look for antigens. But the swab can be inaccurate, prompting doctors to order a more sensitive flu test, which is commonly available in labs and some hospitals.

Matsakis says a pediatrician should make a judgment call based on the overall physical examination and not rely on a rapid flu test to decide whether a baby has the flu or not.

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