KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 – Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran has called for the suspension or transfer of a Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB) paramedic accused of withholding cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from a heart attack victim in Ipoh, Perak.
The public hospital, in a previous statement to CodeBlue, did not specify if its medical assistant (MA) – who attended to Kumaraveloo Terpari @ Thirupathy last April 13 – was still being sent out on emergency calls after Kumaraveloo’s brother, Dr Thiru, alleged that the lack of CPR intervention led to the 43-year-old man’s death.
CodeBlue reported that the same MA similarly withheld CPR and claimed algor mortis (body turns cold) in another May 11 case involving an 85-year-old male motorcyclist who got into an accident in Chemor, Perak, without serious traumatic injuries reported. The patient died.
“People are very apprehensive [about the] teacher who was apparently not provided CPR in time. We do not [think] this is an isolated matter.
“The medical assistant, if not suspended, should be transferred to another department to avoid further suspicions on his care for patients,” Kulasegaran said in a statement to CodeBlue yesterday.
The DAP lawmaker and former human resources minister added that HRPB must have an “open inquiry” for the public to know the actual events that transpired.
“I urge the inquiry findings to be made public for people to have confidence [in the] HRPB. There is a serious trust deficit on HRPB. I will also raise this issue in Parliament,” Kulasegaran said.
CodeBlue on Wednesday detailed an account by Dr Thiru, who is a medical officer at HRPB, who accused the Ministry of Health (MOH) hospital’s ambulance response team of allowing his brother to die from a heart attack by withholding CPR. His claims of the lack of CPR intervention were supported by eyewitness accounts, photographs from the scene, and the MA’s own Pre-Hospital and Ambulance Service (No Sign of Life) report.
The HRPB paramedic pronounced Kumaraveloo’s death, claiming signs of algor mortis, within just 30 minutes from the approximate time when the 43-year-old man collapsed in his car during a traffic jam.
The MA did not remove Kumaraveloo from the car to perform CPR or to use an available automated external defibrillator (AED) device from the ambulance to resuscitate the St Michael’s Institution teacher, despite arriving at the scene in 10 minutes from HRPB, falling well within MOH’s target emergency response time of 15 minutes.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, who also heads the Dewan Rakyat special select committee on health, science and innovation, has called for an inquiry into the incident and a nationwide review to ensure that similar alleged practices of paramedics withholding CPR are not occurring in other places around the country.