Cebu News

CCMC denies boy's death due to meningococcemia

Ma. Fatima R. Secuya - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Medical Center has denied reports that a three-year-old boy, who was admitted in their hospital last week, died because of meningococcemia, a contagious bloodstream infection.

Lawyer Rey Chris Panugaling, CCMC Hospital Administrator, said in a text message that the main cause of the child's death was acute gastroenteritis with severe sepsis secondary to pneumonia, and not meningococcemia.

He said what happened was a matter of miscommunication and that they are already conducting investigation into who from their staff had given the information that the cause of the boy's death was meningococcemia.

"What is clear is that the patient died due to Sepsis secondary to Pneumonia. Patient's chart is reviewed," said Panugaling.

The issue surfaced when the mother of the boy opened up to the media that it was Tuesday last week when they brought their child to CCMC because of fever.

However, the child's condition degenerated quickly and the child died on the afternoon of the same day.

The child's body was then released by the hospital and his family held a wake in the evening.

But when the parents of the child returned to CCMC on Friday to settle their hospital expenses, the mother said they were surprised when they were told that her son's death was actually caused by meningococcemia.

She said the wake was supposed to last for five days, but barangay officials allegedly came and asked them to rush the child's burial, as per advice by health officials, so as not to contaminate their community.

Panugaling also said they also have to check the matter with the parents since they have not received any formal complaint over the issue.

"The meningococcemia issue is taken differently. Miscommunication happened along the line," he said.

Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitides.

A few of the early symptoms of the disease may include fever, headache, irritability, muscle pain, nausea and rashes with red or purple spots. Later symptoms may include a decline in one's level of consciousness, large areas of bleeding under the skin and shock.

Rennan Cimafranca, Department of Health Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit chief epidemiologist, earlier said they need to have proof so they can certify the real cause of the child's death.

He said he is now coordinating with Cebu City Health Department Dr. Daisy Villa to monitor the matter.  (FREEMAN)

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