Father of young girl who died after waiting two hours in a hospital emergency room reveals how her death will help gravely ill kids get the treatment they need
- Aishwarya Aswath was rushed to Perth Children’s Hospital with a fever on April 3
- Her parents claim she had to wait for two hours for treatment despite their pleas
- She died soon after being seen sparking an urgent review of the hospital system
- The WA government has announced new program to stop other kids from dying
- Her father Aswath Chavittupara has praised the model, named after his daughter
The father of a young girl who died after waiting two hours in a hospital’s emergency room has praised a new program that will prevent other children from dying.
Aishwarya Aswath, seven, was rushed to Perth Children’s Hospital on April 3 after she came down with a fever the day before and her condition rapidly deteriorated.
Her devastated parents Aswath Chavittupara and Prasitha Sasidharan claim they repeatedly begged reception staff for help as the little girl’s eyes clouded over and her hands went cold – but had to wait more than two hours to be seen.
Aishwarya died within hours of doctors starting treatment, sparking an urgent review of the emergency department by Western Australia Health.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook met with Mr Chavittupara and Ms Sasidharan on Friday to discuss a new prevention program called Aishwarya’s Care, which will allow parents to be actively involved in the assessment of their ill child’s health.
Mr Chavittupara welcomed the new system which will be rolled out state-wide in all hospitals with paediatric services.
Aishwarya Aswath died after allegedly being made to wait for two hours for treatment in the Perth Children’s Hospital emergency room, her parents claim
‘This model of care should give more rights to the concerned parents, and not just wait for the triage process,’ Mr Chavittupara told The West Australian.
‘Parents know their kids better. If they are really worried they can use this system – Aishwarya’s Care – and they should get the care they need.
‘When my daughter was young she said she always wanted to become a teacher, and she wanted to be called Miss AC. Aishwarya’s Care will stand for that.’
It is understood the program, which Aishwarya’s family will help develop, will be similar to a system introduced in Queensland in 2013 after the death of Rockhampton toddler Ryan Saunders.
The two-year-old died in 2007 after a streptococcal infection was misdiagnosed as mumps and the illness developed into toxic shock syndrome.
Ryan’s Rule allows patients and parents to demand to see the nurse in charge for a review of a loved one’s treatment if their condition is not improving.
If they are not satisfied with the response, they can call a special hotline to have the case reviewed again.
Aswath Chavittupara and Prasitha Sasidharan (pictured) have welcomed a new program, named after their daughter, which will be rolled out in hospitals across the state to prevent patients from dying
While existing WA rules apply to patients in wards, AMA President Andrew Miller Aishwarya’s Care will give parents rights in triage centres.
Mr Miller said it was disappointing the system was only being introduced now, after there were calls for change five years ago after a seven-month old boy died in similar circumstances.
Similar programs are also already in place in NSW (REACH- Recognise, Engage, Act, Call, Help is on its way), and in the ACT (CARE – Call And Respond Early) which encourage parents to seek secondary medical advice if concerned.
Aishwarya’s death was investigated by Western Australia’s Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) and its report was delivered to Aishwarya’s parents on Wednesday.
Health Minister Roger Cook said it appeared Aishwarya had died of sepsis after contracting an infection related to group A streptococcus.
The state coroner will hold a public hearing into her death.