Two doctors in Bashkiria are convicted of medical malpractice

Medical malpractice rarely becomes the subject of lawsuit in Russia. Summer of this year has become an exception

Medical malpractice rarely becomes the subject of lawsuit in Russia. Summer of this year has become an exception. Two cases resulted in convictions in a small town in Bashkiria. 55-year-old emergency pediatrist on duty, Anisa Nasretdinova was found guilty of child's death. 47-year-old Ulnas Rafikova, the head of a hospital's obstetric division was convicted of making a woman in childbirth an invalid. Rafikova received suspended sentence and escaped from shame to the Moscow suburbs. Nasretdinova is serving in prison. Doctors were convicted according to the 118th article of the Russian Criminal Code: reckless infliction of damage to health. 

Anisa Nasretdinova, the pediatrist with more than twenty years of experience was found guilty of
two-year-old Angelina Gubaidullina. Angelina swallowed too many antitussic pills. Her mother called the ambulance after some time. When the ambulance arrived Anisa Nasretdinova started stomach lavage at once. The girls' mother noticed that less water had come out of the girls' stomach than the doctor put into tube. Moreover, the water was pure and there was not a trace of the pills. The doctor presumed that the fatal doze of the medicine had been already absorbed with blood and sent the girl to a hospital, although the girl seemed to feel well.

The girl died in about twenty hours. A nurse of the hospital ward Svetlana Flaks said: “The girl was already in a bad condition when we received her”. According to medical examination report the fatal doze of the medicine was found in Angelina's blood.  Most likely the girl hid the pills somewhere while her mother thought she had swallowed them. Experts established that the girl had died because the lavage tube had pierced through her stomach and touched her liver. Doctors of the intensive care unit were saving her from grave poisoning instead.

Investigators tried to find out when Angelina had received her mortal wound. Girl's mother said that the tube had not been fixed and at some point had gone too deep into her daughter's throat. The investigation concluded that the doctor who should be controlling such procedures carefully was guilty.

Anyway, Anisa Nasretdinova did not deny her guilt. She was apologizing in front of the court and the relatives of the dead girl. Nasretdinova served three months in prison but afterwards the verdict was replaced by suspended sentence.

26-year-old Rizida Hayrullina also became a victim of medical malpractice. She lost 70 centimeters of small intestine. After giving birth to her son who unfortunately died soon afterwards the woman felt terrible. Doctor Gulnaz Rafikova said that the reason was appendicitis adhesions. However, Rizida felt worse and had a fever. Only on the 16th day of suffering she was examined by a surgeon who suggested there was a foreign body in her abdominal cavity. It turned out to be a one-meter drape that is used in the operations. 

The woman suffered from peritonitis and was close to death. She was saved but 70 centimeters of festered small intestines had to be ablated. Hayrullina was made an invalid and says that her life is now not more than pitiful existence. Investigation found it difficult to establish who was in charge of the incident. All of the personnel who were present at the delivery were lumping blame onto each other. Finally the prosecutor's office convicted the operating surgeon Gulnaz Raficova.

Russians have already grown accustomed to the poverty of the hospitals and the rudeness of their personnel. Everyone understands how exhausted the doctors on duty get, how scanty their salaries are and how unpredictable human organism may be. However, these are lame excuses when you taste a grief because of doctors' blunders.

Meantime, doctors feel offended. “Everybody is afraid of working these days”, convict Anisa Nasretdinova sigh. “We are ready to sacrifice our lives to rescue the patients. And now it turns out that were are all under suspicion”.

Svetlana Valieva

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Author`s name Olga Savka