In a rare verdict, a Singapore paediatrician has just been suspended for three months for failing to diagnose and treat a 1-year-old baby for Kawasaki Disease.
Singapore paediatrician suspended
According to The Straits Times, the baby was admitted to Gleneagles Hospital with Kawasaki disease symptoms like high fever and red eyes. The doctor in question, Dr Chia Foong Lin, who was practising at Chia Baby and Child Clinic, but also on call for the hospital that night, initially diagnosed him as having a viral infection.
Though she considered the possibility of Kawasaki disease, she dismissed the idea, and continued to treat him for viral fever, throughout the baby's 4-day stay at the hospital. Only when the little one's parents took him to another hospital, 3 days after his discharge from Gleneagles, was the disease confirmed.
The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) in its statement confirmed that this late diagnosis could have turned disastrous for the baby, and led to the child developing serious heart issues.
What was worrisome was, the doctor did not order any tests to confirm or rule out the condition, nor did she have a proper discussion with the baby's parents. According to The Straits Times, the SMC has written, "Instead, she was content to continue managing the patient for viral fever when the clinical features clearly did not point to a simple case of viral infection."
"In view of the patient's symptoms and the significant risks of adverse and severe consequences resulting from a delayed or missed diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease, it would be reasonably expected of Dr Chia to order such tests during the course of the patient's hospitalisation."