Doctor sentenced for medical malpractice

HA NOI - Thanh Tri District People's Court sentenced 50-year-old Doctor Tran Thi Xuan Dung to 16 months of non-custodial reform yesterday for malpractice.

Non-custodial reform is a parole-like punishment under which she will have to report regularly to relevent authorities under the supervision of her family and her working hospital.

According to the indictment, Dung and her team were directly responsible for the death of Nguyen Thi Vinh, then 52, after a blood transfusion went wrong at Thanh Tri Hospital in October, 2009.

The indictment said that Doctor Dung, Doctor Nguyen Thi Tuong Van, 55, and technician Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, 30 had, "violated regulations on medical treatment causing serious consequences".

Patient Vinh was taken to the hospital for emergency treatment on 19, October, 2009.

Dung assigned Ha to run some blood tests on Vinh, and she duly obliged. After testing one sample using the serum method, Ha established that the patient was blood group AB+, but she should have used another method that checks erythrocytes samples. Vinh was actually O+.

Doctor Dung did not bother to check the results of the test, and she signed off on it.

A day later, Doctor Van decided that Vinh needed a blood transfusion, assigning two units of AB+ for her.

Dung was responsible for administering the transfusion, and when the procedure was over, she asked Van to keep an eye on the patient while she went out for lunch.

Vinh's body quickly went into shock and her face started turning blue. Though the health staff quickly intervened and transferred her to Bach Mai Hospital, she died on October 24, 2009.

The court hearing lasted for two days and besides Dung's sentence, Nguyen Thi Tuong Van and Nguyen Thi Thu Ha were given official cautions.