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Father blames medical negligence in son's death in UAE

Doctors did not bother to call a neurologist or do a CT scan, man alleges

Image Credit: Courtesy: Family
Mansour Baluch with son Asim Mansour
Gulf News

Dubai: A Pakistani resident claims that a hospital’s negligence has resulted in the death of his 24-year-old son.

Speaking exclusively to Gulf News, the father Mansour Baluch said he hopes to get justice. He has filed a complaint with the UAE Ministry of Health.

His son Asim Mansour, a thalassaemia patient, was undergoing regular blood transfusion and took medication. He was a keen football player and was working in administration.

“No one could tell that he had thalassaemia. He was energetic and always active,” said Baluch, a UAE resident since 1976.

The father explained the sequence of events leading to his son’s death.

One day Asim Mansour, the second of four children, developed a high fever and was admitted to Zulekha Hospital in Sharjah. He was discharged a few days later. After three weeks, the son complained of severe, continuous headache. The father took Mansour to the same hospital.

“We rushed to the emergency at 4am. Unfortunately the doctors didn’t take it seriously and administered a painkiller. Neither did they consider his medical history [thalassaemia and previous visits to the hospital],” he said.

The father claims that the hospital couldn’t admit Mansour because his previous medical file from three weeks ago was still open. While the paperwork was being done, Mansour was in severe pain.

“The doctors didn’t bother to call a neurologist nor did a CT [computed tomography] scan. Instead I was asked to book an appointment for a MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], which was at 11am. Asim’s condition worsened with nausea. The MRI couldn’t be done due to the vomiting,” said Baluch.

By the same evening, doctors decided on a CT scan, which confirmed the presence of abscess in Mansour’s brain. After being admitted to ICU, his breathing became increasingly difficult. He died the following afternoon.

Gulf News made several attempts to get a statement from Zulekha Hospital regarding the deceased patient, however the hospital declined to comment.

According to the hospital’s medical report, the patient’s sensorium (sensory nerve centre) deteriorated during the night. He was intubated and ventilated. He was diagnosed with meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and their meninges) and subdural empyema (abscess).

The father rues the way medical attention was given to his son. He claims that if the doctors had to take the decision for a CT Scan earlier and admitted his son at the time they were at the emergency department, his son would be alive today.

A Ministry source told Gulf News that the complaint filed by Baluch is being addressed with a committee reviewing the matter. The investigations are expected to take up to six months.