On April 7 th 2017 young Romali De Silva from Dehiwela died of Dengue Fever at the posh Central Hospital Colombo 8 after being in Hospital for over seven days. It was a tragic case of mismanagement of a patient that led to the death of Young Romali, who was employed as an executive by Brandix. She was only 25 years at the time of her untimely death. Romali had obtained a degree in Applied Psychology and Management Studies from the prestigious Nottingham University and was in the final stage of her marketing studies. She was an old girl of Ladies College Colombo 7.
Young Romali who had been suffering with fever had been admitted to Central Hospital by her parents. The young house officer who had admitted her had not taken the case so seriously because the consultant he spoke with had said that he would look at her later. However the parents had insisted and got her admitted to the Hospital. She was given a luxurious room in the Hospital knowing the parents could afford the room. We understand the Medical Doctor who attended to her was Dr Panduka Karunanayake.
When young Ronali was sprouting out blood from her nose the hospital staff had told the parents not to worry that it was normal knowing very well that she was diagnosed as having dengue . A Doctor we spoke with said that the Hospital should have been on high alert because the patient was hemorrhaging and it was a medical emergency. Even then, a senior Doctor was not called in by the Hospital Staff. The night before she died when she complained of severe stomach pains, the Hospital had said it is Gastritis ( Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining) and given Gaviscon. Later when she complained of a severe hand pain. A sure sign she was going into cardiac arrest. The Doctor had said it is a muscular pain and got her shoulder massaged.
The parents who are devastated and still in shock have requested His Excellency the President to have a full scale inquiry and we understand they hope to bring a law suit against the Doctor for professional negligence. Today many of our Sri Lankan Doctors who qualify at the expense of the tax payers act in a very high handed manner. The current action of the GMOA is a classic case in point. Doctors who strike and inconvenience the poor people of this country should be from now on banned from private practice and Sri Lankan private hospitals too need to be better regulated by the Ministry of Health to prevent such mishaps.
At the end Romali’s parents were given Rs 780,000 bill by the Hospital for 7 days for her treatments.