The family of an elderly Turkish Cypriot woman – who died last week – have accused hospital medics in the north of Nicosia of administrating the wrong type of blood during a transfusion.
The latest incident is yet another blow to the already beleaguered health system within the Turkish Cypriot community with the recent accusations being levelled against medics at the Dr Burhan Nalpantoglu public hospital in the north of Nicosia.
The children of the deceased woman say the hospital nurses administered the wrong blood type to 88-year-old Akile Vardan and that led to her death.
According to the family’s claims, the woman was being administered the wrong type of blood during a procedure that lasted over an hour, which would have meant that one-third of the blood in her body would have been the wrong type.
Akile Vardan was taken to the Nicosia public hospital, on Tuesday afternoon, after her physician suggested that she needed an urgent blood transfusion.
“We took her to the hospital where she was given two units of blood before being admitted for further treatment. She was responding positively and she even started to talk to us” said Akile’s daughter Gulten Hastunc.
Her children, seeing that their mother was feeling better, then left her with her personal carer and planned on returning the following day.
On Thursday morning, the family received a call from their carer who accused the nurses of not responding to her calls to look to take a look at the old woman who was feeling unwell.
Akile’s children and other family members arrived at the hospital soon after to find the nurses accusing the carer of not doing her job properly.
“Meanwhile, my mother was not well and she started to having spasms,” said Ozlem Vardan – Akile’s other daughter.
“We asked them to give her painkillers but they refused saying it was the job of the doctor on duty to make that call. When we met with her doctor, she confirmed to us that there had been an error with the blood that had been administered to my mother.”
Erol Vardan, Akile’s son, told reporters that they lost their mother around early on morning.
“She was taken into intensive care on Thursday afternoon. Despite doctors’ efforts we lost her.”
He added that his family had no complaint from the hospital’s doctors, but are currently contemplating whether to take legal action against the nurses of the hospital.
An investigation has been ordered by the health office into the incident.