BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 3 Sep 2009
The death toll from swine flu in the UAE has reached four with the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Wednesday confirming the death of two more women due to H1N1 virus infection.
The state news agency WAM has reported that the latest fatalities from the influenza in the country include a pregnant woman.
She had been admitted ten days ago to an unspecified hospital after showing respiratory complications and other H1N1 symptoms.
The ministry said, "A Caesarean-section was performed at the hospital to save the life of her baby, who remains in a healthy condition now. However, the woman passed away."
Meanwhile, the MoH has launched an investigation into the death of a second woman due to swine flu.
"A special committee will analyse the second swine flu fatality, in accordance with the Medical Responsibility (Liability) Law, and submit a detailed report on the case," said Dr Ali Ahmed Bin Shakar, the MoH Director General.
"The panel will probe the circumstances surrounding the death, such as the condition of the woman when she was admitted, suspected swine flu complications, later development of the disease and all other aspects, including the possibility of negligence that caused her death," said the MoH.
WAM said that the Minister of Health, Dr Hanif Hassan, had issued a ministerial decision on procedural guidelines to help investigate medical errors. Unresolved incidents are reviewed by an apex medical liability committee established by a Federal Law passed in the year 2008.
"The guidelines were set to investigate medical errors and each hospital has a special committee to carry out such investigations, while serious incidents are referred to local or federal health authorities," the MoH explained.
The Medical Responsibility (Liability) Law addresses doctor-patient relations and defines medical error. It also has provisions on medical practice and related professions.