2 nurses, 1 doctor face charges of medical neglect in journalist’s death
Attorney General Hisham Barakat - YOUM7/Hossam Atef

CAIRO: Attorney General Hisham Barakat has referred a doctor and two nurses to criminal court on accusations of killing a patient, 26-year-old journalist Heba al-Ayouti, who died on June 9.

Youm7 stated that the report issued by the Forensic Medicine Authority confirmed that the doctors’ negligence was the cause of Ayouti’s death, after the doctor injected her with the wrong chemical while she was undergoing a scan on her ovaries in Nile Badrawy Hospital in Maadi.

Activists created a page on Facebook titled “We will avenge your death Heba” in honor of Ayouti, through which they have called for reforms in the Egyptian health care system. “With great sorrow and grief, the family of Heba Al-Ayouti mourns her loss. She was 26 years old. Heba was a victim of gross medical negligence from the physicians of the Nile Badrawi Hospital in Maadi. She passed away on Monday 9 June 2014,” the Facebook page reads.

A post on the page was published on Tuesday, addressing Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab following his declaration that 22 billion EGP ($3.07 billion) was to be allocated to health and education. The post read, “More than 2,000 Egyptians die every year, in addition to 5,000 others who face health complications for years due to doctors’ negligence. There must be strict laws to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for neglecting to save people’s lives.”

The group also published a copy of the attorney general’s report, which stated that investigations concluded that on May 11, 2014, the victim entered the hospital for radiographic dye to scan her ovaries. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Hamid el-Sayed and Nurse Soaa Nabil Abdel Megeed provided her with the wrong injection—a formaldehyde solution—and when the patient reacted badly to the substance, they did not admit their mistake to her family.

“The doctor left the hospital, did not answer phone calls asking for rescue, and asked another nurse— the third suspect—not to reveal the truth to anyone,” the report read.

The report further stated that the injection caused very low blood pressure, bloating in the stomach and several infections causing renal and lung failure.

“In Germany, physicians confirmed that her deterioration of health could have been avoidable—and her life could been saved—if an immediate lavage was conducted by the Nile Badrawi physicians. This unfortunately didn’t happen due to the hospital’s lack of responsibility, fear and arrogance,” read the Facebook page, which published Ayouti’s entire story.

On July 2, the Court of South Cairo renewed the detention of a nurse in the case for 15 days pending investigations.

All three suspects are currently in police custody awaiting trial.

Additional reporting by Nourhan Hassan.

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