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Doctors Blame Parents’ Negligence for Child’s Death

10.01.2007
eqimebi.gifFourteen-year-old Vasil Kokashvili died in the village of Kardenakhi in the Gurjaani District. Local doctors blame his parents of negligence. The National Center for Illness Control excludes the possibility of spreading the infection.  However, local people are very nervous about the situation.

Kokashvili arrived from Moscow on December 29. On the nest day he had a high temperature; he got sick and had headaches. “He was sick and had a fever. In the evening we sent for the district doctor. After examining the boy, the doctor doubted it was an infectious disease. He subscribed antibiotics and advised the family members to take the child to the neurologist,” said Khatuna Khelashvili, a neighbor of the family. She also added that the health conditions of Vasili worsened so soon that the parents could not even manage to buy medicine.  

Manana Berikashvili, the chief of the Gurjaani District First Aid Service, said that, “The call was received at 7:31 PM from Kardenakhi at Gurjaani 03. We took the sick child with unidentified intoxication to the Gurjaani District Hospital at 8:15 PM,” she said.

“We did general blood analysis for Kokashvili. We doubted the acute pathology of infection.  Parents decided to take him to Tbilisi. In Gurjaani Hospital the boy was given only basic treatment,” said Gela Orvelashvili, director of the Gurjaani Hospital. He cannot give us exact information how much time the boy spent in his hospital.

The boy was transported to Tbilisi by an ordinary car (service of paramedics from Gurjaani hospital is too expensive). Kokashvili died on January 2 in the Center for Infectious Pathology. “We called them on January 1 in Tbilisi. They told us that the health conditions were too poor at that time and they had minimal chance to save the child. On January 2 they told us that the child died,” said Soso Kotiashvili, a neighbor of the Kokashvilis.

The National Center for Illness Control informed the Gurjaani District Center for Public Healthcare about the death of the child from Meningococcemia. “On January 3, at 5:00 PM, the National Center for Illness Control faxed us the information about the death of the child from the infectious disease. We immediately called the district doctor in the village and on January 4 we arrived at the place where the epidemics originated together with other epidemiologists.  We warned the people who had had contact with the dead child to do analysis and take antibiotics. We did not conduct disinfection procedures, because we did not consider it necessary. The meningococcemia might be spread through the air from the sick person, or by a non-infected carrier of the disease. Thus, the disease spreads through close contact with the sick person; otherwise the disease is eradicated after disinfection of the place with ultrasonic rays and some other disinfectants,” said Nana Djadugishvili, a doctor-epidemiologist. She does not exclude that Kokashvili might have been infected during his travel from Russia to Georgia by train.

Residents of the village of Kardenakhi cannot help their anger towards the National Center for Public Healthcare. The neighbor said that they are not panicking. However, they are concerned about the fact that several children have died from the similar infection in the country and they demand disinfection of the places where this disease originated. “It is not enough to warn us that the infection is dangerous and to advise us to do analysis. Where and how can we go? In the Gurjaani hospital they do not have necessary equipment for analysis; however, we cannot travel to Tbilisi, because we do not have money. Though, children do not have temperature now, doctors told us that incubation period for the disease is ten days,” said Gulo Iakobishvili.

Local Doctors blame parents’ negligence for the child’s death. “They seem to have not paid proper attention to their boy. They did give the child the prescribed medicine in time in the village. Later on the child was taken to the district hospital where they did analysis and two hours later Vasil was transported to Tbilisi. As for your question as to whether the local doctor was obliged to inform the Public Healthcare Center about the infection, I shall answer that it was December 31 and since the boy was taken to the hospital  and the center did not work on that day, what could we have done? On January 2, having arrived at our office, we learned that the boy had died,” said the doctor from the Kardenakhi village clinic and she added that Nino Toriashvili, a doctor, had warned the boy’s parents about the danger.

Family members of the dead boy have not commented on the situation.

Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti

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