CORONAVIRUS/Father of 2-year-old who died from COVID-19 calls for prioritized care

05/19/2022 03:59 PM
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Unsplash image for illustrative purposes only
Unsplash image for illustrative purposes only

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) The father of a 2-year-old boy with COVID-19 who died of acute encephalitis and multiple organ failure last week said Wednesday he hoped pediatric care could be better prioritized to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

The father, surnamed Lin (林), told former Kuomintang Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) during a livestream that his family members "felt like they were always waiting for doctors" throughout his son's treatment at Keelung Hospital.

The CECC said on May 15 that the Keelung Hospital had followed the standard operating procedures in handling the case of Lin's son, emphasizing that the hospital did not delay transferring the child for emergency treatment at a pediatric intensive care unit in Taipei.

Since Keelung Hospital does not have a pediatric intensive care unit, it was recommended that the boy, who was suffering from convulsions and had a fever of 42.4 degrees Celsius, be transferred to a medical center with pediatric ICU rooms, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on May 15.

The Keelung health bureau then tried to contact five medical centers in Taipei assigned responsibility for treating children with severe illnesses in accordance with the CECC guidelines, before eventually finding a free bed at Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

The boy was put in an ambulance around midnight, but during the process of transfer, he again experienced convulsions and was treated with medication, the CECC said.

The young patient was admitted into the Taipei hospital at 2 a.m. on May 14 but was declared dead around 8 a.m. after failed resuscitation efforts, according to the CECC.

Lin said that while not demanding any specific action from the health authorities, he hoped children in similar situations in the future be prioritized for treatment so that a tragedy like his son's death may be prevented.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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