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Dead girl’s mother accuses doctors of negligence

Published time: February 28, 2009 10:01
Edited time: February 28, 2009 10:01

The mother of an eleven-year-old girl who died in a St Petersburg hospital has accused doctors of negligence, saying her daughter was misdiagnosed with a cold when in fact she had pneumonia.

It all began with just a cough and fever – a mild one, doctors thought, but just minutes after reaching the hospital, eleven-year-old Darya Agapeeva died.

She didn't get better from the cold and cough medicines doctors prescribed her, because it turns out she may have had pneumonia instead.

Now her mother Irina Agapeeva is accusing the doctors of negligence. Irina says even calling an ambulance proved difficult:

“She was dying and the doctors started to fill in the patient’s history – what pregnancy she was born from, what was her natal weight… I said: Help the child! ‘I’m just doing my job’, I was told.”

When Irina and her daughter finally arrived at hospital, she claims they were stopped repeatedly while doctors filled in paperwork. Darya died minutes after she arrived at the emergency room.

Irina wants investigators to find out why the correct diagnosis – pneumonia – was not made earlier. The doctors at the child-health clinic claim there was another reason for Darya's death.

“There are some groups of viruses which affect the heart and they may have killed her,” one of the doctors said.

The doctors involved did not want to speak to RT, saying the results of the autopsy will be ready in a month.

“I asked: Why have you been keeping us in hospital admission department? She said: It was only 15 minutes and she was doomed to die anyway,” Irina Agapeeva recalled.

Irina knows she can't bring her daughter back – but she wants to bring about a change for the better in Russian hospitals, and she says she still wants answers over how her daughter was allowed to die.