PETALING JAYA: An accident victim’s death that may have been partly caused by the use of a faulty wheeled stretcher was not reported to the Health Ministry, a senior ministry official said.
Health Ministry Deputy Director-General Dr S Jeyaindran said he is as upset over the lack of an incident report from the hospital concerned as he is over the incident itself, The Malay Mail reported.
“In this case, there must be an incident report recorded by hospital staff soon after it took place.
“The report should then be forwarded to the higher officials, not only at state level, but also to the ministry,” he was quoted as saying by the daily, which added that Jeyaindran only found out about it when asked about the Aug 6 incident recently.
He added that such an incident involving faulty hospital equipment “should not have and must never happen again”.
Jeyaindran has ordered an investigation into the incident, which may have contributed to the death of 62-year-old Yu Yew Kuan.
Yu had suffered a concussion and fractures to his arm and leg after the bike he was riding collided with another motorcycle, in the accident in Jelebu, Negri Sembilan.
Just before the ambulance staff were about to place Yu onto the wheeled stretcher, a pair of the wheels buckled inwards causing one side of the stretcher to drop to the ground.
According to The Malay Mail, the staff placed Yu onto a hand-carried stretcher, but still put him back onto the wheeled stretcher after adjusting the pair of wheels which came loose earlier.
It was at the hospital grounds that more injuries were sustained by Yu when the same pair of wheels buckled again immediately after the wheeled stretcher was brought out of the ambulance.
As a result, Yu was flung on to the ground, face forward and suffered head and facial injuries, causing him to bleed profusely, his daughter May Yu told The Malay Mail.
Yu died later the same day, after being transferred from Jelebu Hospital to Seremban Hospital on account of his condition getting worse.
Jeyaindran said the ministry’s probe would cover the cause of death as well as the events immediately following the motorcycle accident.
“We will get to the bottom of this and ensure hospital staff do not take things for granted.
“We will have to investigate before drawing any conclusion. Should any staff be found to have been negligent, the ministry will take necessary action,” he said, according to the English language daily.
Jeyaindran also said it was the responsibility of hospital and ambulance staff to ensure all equipment are in working order.
“Regular checks should have been done on the equipment so they do not fail during an emergency.
“Essential aids are provided every year to hospitals nationwide and if replacements for certain items are required, requisitions will be forwarded.
“The ministry provides funds to upgrade facilities and equipment in hospitals, so if an equipment fails to function properly, the ministry has to act on it,” The Malay Mail quoted him as saying.