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Patient with heart disease dies after surgery delay amid medical vacuum

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Shillong, April 17: A patient with heart disease in her 60s in South Korea died last month while waiting for surgery after about five hours were spent searching for a university hospital willing to admit her for the operation.

The woman sought help via the country’s 119 emergency rescue number after experiencing chest pain while working at a farming field in Gimhae, 303 kilometres southeast of Seoul, on March 31, reports Yonhap News Agency, citing sources.

Rescue workers first contacted six hospitals in the wider South Gyeongsang Province for her admission, but all refused to admit the patient.

Then they were informed that a hospital in the nearby city of Busan could see the patient although any surgery was impossible.

She underwent multiple medical tests for more than two hours there and was diagnosed with aortic dissection. She was then moved to a general university hospital in Busan, where emergency surgery was available.

About five hours after seeking emergency help, the patient was about to go under surgery but eventually passed away at night while being prepared for the operation.

Her daughter expressed deep grief for the loss of her mother and complained about the ongoing medical vacuum as a possible cause.

“I am very upset and sad at the thought that my mother may have survived if she had been admitted to a general university hospital in the first place,” the daughter said.

“It’s deplorable that the possibility of her survival may have been lost due to the medical vacuum, although I cannot say for sure that she would have survived if she had been immediately operated on,” she added.

This death is the latest in a series of serious patient damage cases reported as trainee doctors continue to walk out for nearly two months in protest of the government’s increase in medical school admissions. (IANS)

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