Complaint readied vs. doctor for malpractice
() - October 11, 2007 - 12:00am

The woman whose son died due to alleged medical malpractice is set to file a criminal complaint against a doctor for negligence.

Lawyer Czareem Joseph Estella, legal counsel of Mary Grace Maribao, yesterday told reporters that they are still gathering evidence to indict Dr. Fe Villegas.

Estella also said they are collaborating with the sworn affidavit of nursing attendant Carlos Sven Kintanar Del Mar, who might confirm the medical malpractice.

Likewise, he said they started gathering the prescriptions given by Villegas to the nine-month-old baby to determine whether those drugs were correct.

Last Tuesday, Maribao, 21, of Candoling, Ronda town filed an administrative complaint before the Professional Regulation Commission  after her firstborn child, Matthew, died last September 27.

Villegas was accused of misdiagnosing Maribao’s baby. She reportedly ordered the release of the child three days after he was confined in a private clinic despite the fact that symptoms of dengue still persist.

The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center issued a medical certificate four days after the child was discharged stating the baby died of “dengue shock syndrome and acute infectious diarrhea.”

Villegas was quoted as denying that she committed medical negligence. She said she would answer the complaint once she receives a copy of it.

In her letter-complaint, Maribao recalled that she rushed her baby to the Villegas Medical Clinic and Laboratory Services in Barili town due to hemorrhagic fever.

“Surprisingly, after a short talk with the doctor, the latter injected valium on my child on the very flimsy reason that my son’s persistent crying can disturb other patients,” said Maribao in her complaint.

Maribao said the following day, Villegas diagnosed her baby to be suffering from amoebiasis and that she injected him intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

“Because I am aware of the dengue outbreak in the Province of Cebu and considering that symptoms of dengue are apparent like rashes on the skin, I confronted the doctor… But the latter hastily ruled that these were just ordinary skin rashes brought by insect bites,” Maribao said.

And since she already ruled out that the child was suffering from mere amoebiasis, Villegas refused to have him undergo a complete blood count (CBC) despite the insistence of the mother

“For almost two days of confinement, (the doctor) persistently refused to have my child undergo CBC. The only alternative advice given is to put ice on the forehead aside from the paracetamol, antibiotics and Valium,” she said.

Later, the doctor removed the dextrose from the baby. The next day, the baby suffered from a very high fever, prompting his parents to bring him to the Barili District Hospital.

The physicians required a CBC and discovered that the baby was suffering from dengue fever. Immediately, the parents rushed the baby to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.

Yesterday, Villegas was scheduled to meet with the officials of the Cebu Provincial Health Office to discuss the matter and also explain her side.

Estella said they will to pursue the case against the doctor and vowed to bring justice to Maribao for the loss of her baby. — Gerome M. Dalipe/LPM

BABY BARILI MARIBAO PLACE PLACENAME PLACETYPE VILLEGAS
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