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6-month-old baby died after waiting for ER vehicle for 4 hours in Niasviz
Six-month-old Artsyom Hrynkevich died in a resuscitation ambulance on the way from Niasviz to Salihorsk on January 5. The boy lived in the agro-town Snou with his parents. He was taken to Nisvizh hospital with fever and his condition kept worsening. Doctors decided to transport him to the resuscitation department of Salihorsk Central District Hospital.
However, the resuscitation ambulance took four hours to arrive, Artsiom’s mother said. Doctors kept rending medical assistance to him all this time but the baby died on the way to Salihorsk.
“Children’s resuscitation ambulances are distributed all over the country to be able to reach any spot. Everything was normal,” spokesperson of the Ministry of Healthcare Yuliya Baradun said. “The child [Artsiom Hrynkevich – Euroradio] was receiving medical assistance in Niasviz. However, when doctors decided that he needed to be taken to a bigger hospital, it turned out that the vehicle was transporting another child at that time. It means that the medics had to help that child first before setting off for Niasvizh. There was no problem with the van.”
There is only one children’s resuscitation ambulance per several districts in Belarus, Euroradio found out. For instance, the resuscitation department of Maladzechna Children's City Hospital accepts children from Maladzechna, Valozhyn, Vileika and Myadzel Districts.
“The structure is the same in the other districts,” Maladzechna Children's City Hospital explained. “The work of our resuscitation ambulance is coordinated by Minsk Region Children’s Hospital. If we cannot help a patient here, we need to transport her or him there.”
Babruisk City Hospital resuscitation ambulance transports children from Babruisk, Babruisk District, Kirausk, Hlusk, Asipovichy and Klichau. According to our sources, the worst situation is in Vitsebsk Region. There is only one third level (there are 4 levels) resuscitation department in the whole region – in Vitsebsk Children’s Hospital. The hospital is situated in the east of the region which means that a resuscitation van may have to travel 560km back and forth and the transportation time may reach 4 hours.
Belarusian doctors got the possibility of transporting patients by helicopter at the beginning of October. There is a medical helicopter in the Ministry of Emergency Situations. It can transport two patients at a time and is equipped with artificial lung ventilation devices, a defibrillation system and a portable 6-channel electrocardiograph.
The helicopter is ready to fly to any place in Belarus within 30 minutes.
“However, only the Ministry of Healthcare has the right to decide when to use the helicopter. It should be initiated by the Ministry and they tell us the destination. Then we take off if we can,” spokesperson of the Ministry of Emergency Situations Vital Navitski told Euroradio. “We have not been asked to do it yet,” he noted.