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Grieving Parents of Girl (7) Who Died After Waiting Two Hours in Hospital Waiting Room Will Sue Government for Millions of Dollars
- Aishwarya Aswath was taken to Perth Children’s Hospital with a fever on April 3
- She had to wait two hours for treatment despite her parents’ pleas
- She died shortly after being seen, prompting an urgent overhaul of the hospital system
- Aswath Chavittupara and Prasitha Sasidharan plan to sue WA government
- The parents plan to use the millions in compensation to build a public hospital
The grieving parents of a little girl who died after waiting more than two hours for a hospital emergency room plan to sue millions of dollars.
Aishwarya Aswath, seven, spent two hours in the waiting room to… Perth Children’s hospital for fever on April 3, before being placed in the second least urgent category.
Her parents Aswath Chavittupara, 39, and Prasitha Sasidharan, 33, begged her to be examined by doctors after her eyes became cloudy and her hands got cold, but it was too late – she died after finally being seen by a specialist.
The couple now plans to file a multi-million dollar compensation claim against the Western Australian government.
Aishwarya Aswath, seven, (pictured) waited two hours in the emergency room at Perth Children’s Hospital, but died shortly after she was finally treated
Aishwarya’s parents wouldn’t have a penny in their pockets with all the money that would be used to set up a foundation in their daughter’s name to build a new public hospital.
“No amount of money can bring my daughter back. But it is important to fight for others,” said Mr Chavittupara The Sunday Times.
“If someone had fought the system like me on a previous occasion, I probably had my daughter with me now.”
A report from WA’s Child and Adolescent Health Services found that Aishwarya died of sepsis after contracting an infection in group A streptococci.
Another study by the Australia Commission on Safety and Quality and Health Care will present its findings to the government by the end of this week.
Her death will also be investigated by the coroner.
Family spokesman Suresh Rajan said Aishwarya’s family has sought legal advice about taking action against the government.
“It would be a multimillion-dollar claim based on the fact that she was only seven years old and had so many years of income earning capacity that she was taken away,” he said.
Chavittupara said he and his wife planned to devote the rest of their lives to building another public hospital in Perth with pediatric services.
They want the facility to have 300 and are willing to sell half of their personal items to fund the project.
Aswath Chavittupara, 39, and Prasitha Sasidharan, 33, (pictured) plan to sue the WA government and use the money to create a foundation in honor of their daughter
While the parents expect the ACSQHC report to still leave many questions about their daughter’s death unanswered, Chavittupara said they needed it “honestly.”
The CAHS report from mid-May also found that emergency department staff missed a “cascade” of opportunities to escalate the seven-year-old’s care when she succumbed to a deadly infection on Easter Saturday.
Aishwarya’s parents have sought help in the waiting room five times.
Within 20 minutes of arrival, her hands were cold, her eyes were discolored, and her respiratory rate and heart rate were significantly elevated.
But the seriousness of her condition was not recognized until an hour and 17 minutes later, when a doctor noticed she had cold peripheries and slurred speech.
She entered a CPR department but was pronounced dead within two hours.
An internal report found that Perth Children’s Hospital missed a series of opportunities to step up Aishwarya’s care as her condition worsened
The report highlighted a 30-minute period in which one nurse was left to watch over eight waiting room cubicles as Aishwarya continued to deteriorate.
During meetings with hospital directors dating back to October last year, emergency department workers expressed concerns about the safety of children in the waiting room.
Plans for the new hospital to have a triage support nurse who would monitor patients’ vital signs have not progressed since opening in 2018.
The CAHS made 11 recommendations that the government would implement at PCH by November, including improvements to triage policy.
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