Both legs of the student who fell from the first floor of his lyceum last Monday are now in casts after he was treated by a private doctor amid allegations that he wasn’t properly diagnosed at Nicosia general hospital, where he was first treated after the accident.
The mother of the pupil, Louisa Ioannou, said she doesn’t understand why the public hospital told them to leave the first and second time her son was examined. She was allegedly told to come back on Friday to see an orthopedic surgeon.
“I couldn’t go to the general hospital because I am afraid now,” she said. Instead she went to the private doctor where the boy had an MRI on Saturday, and after injuries in both heels were diagnosed, he was fitted with the cast on Monday to prevent him from moving.
Head of the general hospital Andreas Neophytou insists the hospital did the right thing.
“The orthopedics told him and his mother to stay in bed, and slowly start to walk,” he said. “What is the sense of the cast if he should just stay in bed to achieve the same thing?”
He said the measure could even be counterproductive, as extra pressure may be put on the injured heels by the cast.
The Pancyprian parents association also commented, saying the boy went to the private physician because of unbearable pain in his legs.
“We ask the following question to the Ministry of Health: who is responsible for the continuing discomfort of the student and why did the student have to go to a private centre for proper diagnosis? Particularly after his previous hospitalisation at the general hospital,” they said in a statement, adding that the minister should respect the association more.
The association said the parents association of the boy’s school’s accident insurance plan and solidarity fund will pay for the teenager’s medical bills.
The pupil fell from the first floor at his school on May 14 and was rushed to the general hospital.
The health ministry later said the boy was taken to A&E with pain in his heels after his fall.
“The pupil underwent all necessary examinations by doctors – heel and spine X-rays – and after determining there was nothing to justify further treatment, he was discharged,” the ministry said.
The parents said that the pupil was later examined by a private doctor who referred him back to the general hospital where he was “in serious condition.”
Following X-rays and an MRI scan, as well as examination from a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic, and despite finding nothing, he was transferred to Makarios for observation, the ministry noted.
The health ministry rejected the parents’ claims that the pupil was in serious condition and that doctors had not carried out the necessary tests and examinations.
Meanwhile, a probe into the incident revealed that the school took the right measures at the time of the accident and no bullying was involved.
The incident followed the death of a 10-year-old boy on May 11 after he hit his head playing basketball at school.
The boy was taken to Larnaca hospital by his mother but after examining him, doctors decided it was okay for him to return home. The boy returned to the hospital a couple of hours later in critical condition. He was transferred to Nicosia where he died on the operating table.
It later transpired that he had suffered a fractured skull and had died from internal haemorrhage.
Police arrested two Larnaca hospital doctors in connection with the incident, prompting the doctors’ union Pasyki to hold a strike in protest. Pasyki blamed the incident on staff shortages.