The Malta Independent 21 March 2023, Tuesday
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Internal investigation over claims of Mater Dei hospital negligence by Australian family

Tuesday, 7 March 2023, 15:33 Last update: about 13 days ago

An Australian family has complained that negligence by Maltese doctors has led to the amputation of their son's leg, prompting the Health Ministry to launch an internal investigation.

The Seguna family has filed a complaint with Mater Dei Hospital claiming Maltese doctors damaged their baby's artery while treating the boy for a chest infection, Australian media reported.

The family was in Malta on holiday last year when the baby, then seven months old, was hospitalised for a chest infection.


In comments to 7NEWS, the heartbroken mother Joanne says doctors in Malta failed to realised their child needed urgent medical care abroad to repair a damaged artery, which was caused when a central line was introduced.

As a result, by the time the baby was eventually flown for treatment to the UK, doctors there had to amputate the leg because too much time had passed, the family said.

(Photos: 7News)

Zayn Seguna was with his family in Malta in November when his parents took him to Mater Dei Hospital to be treated for bronchiolitis.

“They hit an artery which they realised straight away because his leg went pale, cold, changed colour straight away,” she told the news portal.

This resulted in restricting blood flow and extensive muscle and tissue damage. A central line is a long tube used to deliver medicine, fluids or blood.

The child was also given a blood thinner as a blood clot had formed.

“On day four they told me they don’t have a kid’s vascular surgeon and said he’s going to have to go to the United Kingdom to have it looked at and repaired,” Joanne said.

The family was flown to London for emergency surgery to restore blood flow.

But because of the extent of the damage and the time that had passed, the doctors in <ondon decided the lower half of the leg needed to be removed, the mother added, with the surgeon telling her this situation should have been looked at before.

On their return to Australia, the parents filed a complaint with Mater Dei, and they are still waiting for the hospital’s answer, it was reported.

“Clinical decisions at Mater Dei Hospital are taken at the discretion of the caring clinicians,” a ministry spokesperson told MaltaToday.

“Mater Dei Hospital offers comprehensive health services locally but when clinicians indicate that patients require very specialized care not available locally, the hospital has arrangements in place with foreign specialized hospitals to send patients for treatment/surgery abroad, including, if need be, urgently,” the newspaper was told.


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