WA’s Health Minister is demanding answers from the acting director-general of Health over the death of a seven-year-old girl at Perth Children’s Hospital’s emergency department at the weekend.
Roger Cook has asked for an urgent review into Aishwarya Aswath’s death after she waited two hours for treatment in the hospital’s emergency ward.
“These situations are just horrible and my heart goes out to the parents and families and friends of this young girl,” he said.
“This is a dreadful situation and we can’t bring her back.
“But we can provide answers and I’ve asked the acting director-general to provide me with answers as a matter of priority today in order to try to make some sense of this horrible series of events.”
Aishwarya’s family is calling for a review into procedures at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) and more staffing to accommodate emergency cases.
They say she should have been treated more quickly.
Family’s pleas for help rebuffed
A spokesman for Aishwarya’s family said she was feeling feverish and lethargic on Friday, and her parents gave her paracetamol before she went to sleep that night.
Suresh Rajan said her symptoms worsened the next day and she was brought to the PCH emergency department around 5:00pm on Saturday.
Her symptoms included rigid hands and feet as well as patches of white on her eyeballs, and she was declared a “code blue” when doctors finally attended to her, according to Mr Rajan.
She died later on Saturday night.
Mr Rajan, who is also the president of the Ethnic Communities Council of WA, said the family tried desperately to get attention for their daughter but was rebuffed.
“During that two-hour period, there were many occasions, and mum recalls at least four or five occasions, [of] going to the nurses and begging and pleading that someone would actually tend to her daughter,” he said.
“Mum and dad kept coming, carrying her over to the nurses area asking for someone desperately to see her, but it was not to be.
“They kept on repeating, ‘the fact that we are in an emergency ward, why was this not treated as an emergency the minute we walked in?'”