World News

Medical Mistake: Blame The Tonsils

Written by Jina S. Bazzar

Earlier in the year, seven year old Ameer Khdeir was checked into a private hospital, in Ramallah, Palestine for the simple surgery of tonsillectomy (the removal of tonsils). It is a common operation, with more than half a million children under the age of fifteen undergoing it every year. (According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – head and neck surgery in 2013).

 

Due to the lack of oxygen during the surgery, seven year old Ameer Khdeir left the operating room with 85% of his brain function dead. He was paralyzed, lacking the simple capability of speech and cohesion he possessed less than an hour earlier.

 

It was said that the Chief Director of the hospital had been informed, about the malfunction of the oxygen tank, prior to Ameer’s surgical procedure, which he ignored and cleared the operation.

 

The hospital blamed the staff, the staff blamed the hospital. The Health Ministry in Ramallah ordered the operating rooms to be shut down, but it was argued that shutting the operation rooms for an indefinite time would do more harm than good. Therefore, the operating rooms functioned unobstructed by any law.

 

The hospital expressed their sincere regret to Ameer Khdeir’s family, and assumed all responsibilities for the unsuccessful outcome of the operation. In addition, they promised to pay for any treatment to help the boy recover. Ameer Khdeir passed away soon after the hospital’s statement was issued.

 

Today the hospital is working fully, the story was forgotten, and there’s no one to blame but the tonsils.

About the author

Jina S. Bazzar

Jina was born in a small town in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she had a fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that eventually caused her to go blind. Currently she lives in the middle east with her mother and three kids.