REMBAU, June 27 – Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB) has invited the brother of Kumaraveloo Terpari @ Thirupathy to a meeting tomorrow to explain its emergency medical response for the school teacher who died from a heart attack last April.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said yesterday that he had requested HRPB director Dr Megat Iskandar Megat Abdul Hamid to speak with Kumaraveloo’s brother Dr Thiru – who happens to be a medical officer at the same hospital – after which the administration of the Ipoh general hospital invited Dr Thiru to a meeting on Tuesday.
“They can explain to the family members first, and we’ll take it from there.
“I’m not going to say anything at a press conference before the hospital director has even met with the family members. That’s not right,” Khairy told reporters after launching a Peka B40 outreach programme at UiTM’s Rembau campus here yesterday, when CodeBlue sought to ask questions about HRPB’s ambulance response in the April 13 case in Ipoh, Perak.
The health minister reiterated that he could not comment on individual cases, saying: “There is a protocol in place already and as per the press statement by the hospital director, the protocol was followed.”
Dr Megat Iskandar said in a statement last Friday that the ambulance response team in Kumaraveloo’s case had followed protocol and that the medical assistant from the team found, during a “clinical examination”, that the 43-year-old man was dead.
The HRPB director’s statement did not explain what exactly was done by the paramedic during the 10 minutes between arrival at the scene and claiming in his prehospital care form that Kumaraveloo showed “algor mortis” (body turned cold), a “clear sign of death”.
“I’m not going to say anything that will prejudice the meeting that will take place on Tuesday between the brother of the victim and the hospital director. Let that be the start of the conversation,” Khairy said yesterday.
CodeBlue reported last Wednesday Dr Thiru’s complaints of negligence against HRPB in his brother’s case, accusing the Ministry of Health (MOH) facility’s ambulance response team of allowing Kumaraveloo to die by leaving him in his car and by withholding cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) intervention from the St Michael’s Institution teacher.
CodeBlue cited eyewitness accounts, photographs from the scene, as well as the HRPB medical assistant’s prehospital care form – which he signed half an hour after Kumaraveloo’s collapse in his car during a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam – that confirmed the paramedic did not remove the patient from his car. Nor did he attempt to resuscitate the patient with CPR or with an available automated external defibrillator (AED) device from the ambulance.
HRPB’s ambulance response team arrived at the scene in 10 minutes from the hospital – within MOH’s target emergency response time – or within 20 minutes from the approximate time of Kumaraveloo’s collapse.
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) – which is the largest group of doctors in the country, Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran, and Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, who heads the Dewan Rakyat special select committee on health, science and innovation – have all called for an independent or open inquiry into Kumaraveloo’s case.