11-month-old child dies after surgery at university hospital

Ministry of Health building
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Othman, an 11-month-old baby, died at King Abdullah University Hospital after undergoing two surgeries to fix a congenital condition he suffered from in his intestines.اضافة اعلان

The father, Muhammad Ammar Bani Yassin, told Jordan News that between the first and second surgeries, Othman spent a week in hospital with a distended abdomen and unable to urinate. Milk they would feed him would ooze out through the surgical sutures.

Bani Yassin said that his late son suffered from an “absence of nerves” in a specific part of his intestines from birth, and that the doctors decided to perform a surgery to remove that part when Othman was still in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) as a temporary solution. He said that the surgery was successful.

At the time, doctors told Othman's parents that the surgery should be performed after 11 months, when the intestines would be connected to the rectum so that their child would be able to excrete and urinate normally.

“We were seeing the in-house surgeon at the hospital to schedule the operation, and they asked us to check Othman in September 4 to perform the necessary tests,” the father said. “On the next day, the surgery was performed and it went well, according to the nurses.”

“On Tuesday, September 7, the doctor who performed the surgery came to check up on Othman’s condition and told us that it is likely that he will be discharged the following day, as an indication of the stability of his condition,” Bani Yassin said.

That evening, the child’s abdomen began to swell, and the situation worsened on Wednesday. “We sent the doctor a video to show him the size of the bulge on his abdomen, but his reply was that these swellings were just a side effect of the surgery,” the father said.

The resident doctors tried to solve the problem by giving the child a suppository, but the surgeon wouldn’t allow it. Othman’s condition continued to worsen. They placed a urinary catheter to allow the child to urinate, but it was blocked for a whole day. The urine remained trapped. One of the doctors noticed that there was a suture that had not been removed in order for the child to urinate.

A doctor checked up on the child and noticed that the urine bag was closed. When he opened it, it filled up instantly.

“We demanded that nurses call a pediatrician to check on the child's swellings, but they did not respond,” the father said, “When I asked the staff about the condition of Othman’s liver, they said that the last liver test was conducted for him on the day of his birth only.”

“The doctor allowed us to give him milk in a certain amount, and I adhered to that. But when he started drinking, the milk started coming out of the surgery area, and I hurriedly went to the doctor, so they made a decision to redo the surgery. The time between these two surgeries was a week,” Bani Yassin said.

The father noted that the operation was performed at 10am, and the child was tired from the effect of the first surgery and slept until 7pm. “They told us that the surgery went well, and that he needed time to wake up. Afterwards, a pediatrician came and gave him a dose of anti-morphine and he cried a lot, then they transferred him to the ICU. Two days later, my son died due to acute liver failure.”

Othman’s mother cannot comprehend what happened to her son; she cries day and night. “My son Othman was very tired. There is no part left in his body into which needles have not been injected. He weighed 11kg and he was 11 months old. It was hard for him to handle all of this. I will not forgive those responsible,” the mother said.

Director of the King Abdullah University Hospital, Dr Muhammad Al-Ghazu, said: “The child's condition was difficult, and he underwent more than one major surgery. What concerns us in the first place is to rule out negligence on the part of the medical staff, and there is a committee that will follow up what happened to determine whether there was negligence or not.”

He stressed that this committee exists to improve the performance of medical staff and raise the level of services provided to patients.

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