A woman in Romania has perished during surgery after being set on fire, said the country’s health ministry, in a case that has aimed a spotlight on the regressing Romanian health system.
The victim, who had pancreatic cancer, passed away on Monday after enduring burns to 40% of her body after surgeons utilized an electric scalpel in spite of her being dosed with an alcohol-based disinfectant. Treatment with the flammable disinfectant resulted in combustion and the woman “ignited like a torch”, said Emanuel Ungureanu, a Romanian politician, via his Facebook page, referencing the Floreasca urgent care medical staff at a hospital in Bucharest.
A nurse tossed a bucket of water on the 67-year-old patient to stop the fire from further spreading. The ministry of health expressed it would look into the “unfortunate incident”, which happened on the 22nd of December. “The surgeons should have been aware that it is prohibited to use an alcohol-based disinfectant during surgical procedures performed with an electric scalpel,” Horatiu Moldovan, the deputy minister said. The deceased patient’s family noted medical staff had alluded an “accident” although declined to furnish details.
Despite some betterments after a spike in funding, Romania’s hospital model is still plagued by ramshackle equipment and a shortage of physicians and sees itself at the heart of continual scandals. In reference to a nightclub inferno in 2015 that took the lives of 64 people – 26 on-the-scene and later 38 others – an ex health minister stands suspected of having blocked or delayed the transfer of fire victims abroad. Numerous subsequently succumbed to ill-fitted Romanian hospitals. An investigation is still ongoing.
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