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17° Nicosia,
21 November, 2019
 
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Trial for doctors in student’s death pushed back

Negligence case set for January as defence asks for time to review probe findings

Newsroom

The defence lawyer of one of two doctors accused of gross negligence in the death of a student has asked for time to review evidence, following the completion of a long-drawn medical probe.

According to local media, two doctors facing charges in the death of a young student in Larnaca last year will appear for pre-trial proceedings on 23 January 2020.

While a hearing had been scheduled for Thursday morning, defence attorney Yiannis Polichronis who represents one of the defendants asked for time to review probe findings, saying he just received the documents two days earlier.

The two male doctors were briefly arrested last year following the boy’s death and their alleged decision to discharge the boy without consulting a radiologist

The two state doctors, a Greek national aged 37 and a 65-year-old Greek Cypriot, are facing charges of gross negligence and reckless behavior in the death of 10-year-old Stavros Georgallis, who died on 11 May 2018 after injuring his head while playing basketball during gym class.

Stavros’ mother accused Emergency Room medics at Larnaca General Hospital of being incompetent in diagnosing an internal head trauma promptly, which led to the arrest and remand of the two defendants who have been released on bail.

The two male doctors were briefly arrested last year following the boy’s death and their alleged decision to discharge the boy into his mother’s care without ever consulting with the radiologist on duty.

Stavros was starting to become less aware of his surroundings while at home, with his mother and another friend rushing the boy back to the ER where it was determined that the boy needed emergency surgery and had to be transported to Nicosia General Hospital.

X-Ray done but no CT scan

His mother, who is also a registered nurse, said they lost Stavros en route to Nicosia, adding that she believed doctors failed to provide proper care during their first visit. She said doctors examined her son for about 25 minutes and performed an X-Ray, but when she asked whether they would also perform a CT scan, she was told no.

“Are we going to perform a CT scan for every person that falls down?” one of the doctors asked according to the mother, who later remarked a CT was performed during their second ER visit.

One of the doctors reportedly told police he made no medical decision in the boy’s case but was simply asked by his colleague to view the X-Ray. It was unclear whether one doctors concurred with the other, but both doctors were said to have determined there had been no signs of internal damage of the inner ear following an otoscopic examination.

More criticism

Critics had raised issues regarding the hard concrete surface of the basketball court but also general questions regarding first aid response and school protocols.

The gym teacher also came under media scrutiny after personnel files were leaked to the media suggesting he was a “problem educator” and had been transferred frequently from school to school following complaint submitted by parents.

POED state teachers union officials were also criticized when they went to the school to consult with the teacher in question before he could speak to officials about the incident, prompting the education minister to condemn the union representatives with the educators firing back accusing the government of intimidation at the workplace.

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Cyprus  |  Larnaca  |  Stavros  |  student  |  death  |  X-Ra  |  CT scan  |  doctors  |  POED  |  ministry  |  union  |  basketball  |  hospital  |  ER

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