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Father's desperate post provokes malpractice investigation

A FATHER who wrote on an online post that stated he may kill his newborn daughter, who has cerebral palsy, has generated a malpractice investigation at a hospital in Guangdong Province.

Wu Yangsheng, a Jiangxi Province native, claimed the hospital made errors during his daughter's delivery that were responsible for her disease and that it had erased some of the medical records to evade responsibility, today's Nanfang Daily reported.

Guan Minzheng, Dongguan City's health bureau director, told the newspaper that if the hospital did erase medical records it will be severely punished.

According to regulations, medical disputes will be considered accidents if hospitals are found guilty of modifying medical records. Hospitals must take responsibility for medical accidents.

In the post, Wu said his daughter was delivered in Dongguan's Shilong hospital in March.

A doctor surnamed Qi, who was in charge of the delivery, detected the unborn baby had a low heartbeat hours before the delivery, but dismissed it. He blamed the low heartbeat on the monitoring equipment. Qi marked "machine error" on the medical record, according to the report.

Three hours later another doctor performed a Caesarean section on Wu's wife.

Upon delivery, his daughter was unable to cry. Her skin was purple and she had trouble breathing. The amniotic fluid was polluted as the baby had emptied its bowels in the womb due to a lack of oxygen over a long period, Wu's post read.

The girl was diagnosed with cerebral palsy early this month.

Learning that the disease is normally caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery, Wu linked his daughter's illness to hospital malpractice.

He went back to the hospital to check the medical records, only to find the heartbeat monitoring data missing, including the "machine error" remark.

Without that data, Wu has no proof and is unable to seek compensation, the report said.

"I know I'm unable to bring up my sick daughter and the hospital is unwilling to take responsibility ... Maybe I shall kill her?" the father wrote in his post.

There is no known cure for cerebral palsy.

The Shilong hospital denied it changed the medical record.

A hospital official told Nanfang Daily that the infant's disease was a result of suffocation as the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck.

The official said Wu had asked for 800,000 yuan (US$117,088) compensation, a sum too large for the hospital, according to the report.


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