KKH staff claims seizure young child underwent was “essentially harmless”

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A netizen, Colin Ng, has come forward in support of a doctor at KK Women and Children’s Hospital who was accused of not providing adequate medical attention to a young girl, resulting in the child becoming unconscious and unresponsive the very next morning.

Concerned parents Tricia Ang and Warren Lim had taken one of their four daughters to KKH. Since the hospital was busy, the family waited for 3-4 hours just to see the doctor who told them their child’s condition is not serious and asked them to wait for another 2-3 hours.

The doctor then allegedly told them that if they don’t want to wait, they can go to another hospital since their daughter’s condition is not serious.

The Lim family appear to have taken the doctor’s advice and returned home. However, at 11am on 14 Nov, their daughter fell unconscious and unresponsive.

The child’s mother excoriated the doctor and posted videos of a man, appearing to be her husband, trying to revive their child by performing CPR online. Ang indicated that her daughter recovered when paramedics arrived.

Interestingly, Ang’s post has since been removed from Facebook.

Meanwhile, Ng – who claims to be a KKH staff – has stepped forward on Facebook and asserted that the seizure the child went through looks scary but is “essentially harmless.”

He also urged fellow netizens to refrain from abusing healthcare staff without knowing the full details of the story.

Read his full post here:

A little explanation for context:

*This is my personal view and does not represent the organisation I work in.*

Recently a Facebook post has been garnering significant attention involving the place I work – it alleges that a child came to KK Hospital Children’s Emergency and was refused care. The post also names a doctor encountered during the visit in a manner of great hate and ill will. Following this, the child apparently went home and has appeared to have had a seizure.

This, something called a febrile seizure, is something that happens to young children, is VERY scary looking but is essentially harmless.

What appears to have then happened is that the child’s father called the emergency ambulance number, and likely told the emergency despatcher (wrongly) that the child had stopped breathing, and therefore was advised to start CPR, something which is unnecessary from the appearance of the child in the video from the post.

The details of what happened – did the parents yell at and abuse healthcare staff, would they have got preemptive seizure advice if they had just been willing to wait their turn, was the child already recovering during the video – I won’t guess at cos I wasn’t there – but that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

What followed in the public comments, however – was outright hateful screams for blood. Comments screaming for his licence to be suspended, that government hospitals don’t care, that you should avoid KK, that all doctors are bad. I mean, I get it – everyone is concerned for their child and all – but why? Why did everyone straight up accept the circumstances of what happened through the lens of the parents and then pronounce judgement on the only person involved who knew what was actually going on?

I’m in the department now, and it is one of the most pleasant, caring, astute, thorough, accomodating, and good-willed environments I have ever been in. The department works solely for the healthcare of children (is there any better reason to do anything really) and no other reason. No, not to earn money from patients or do experiments or whatever other BS reason.

So please. Target Zero Abuse. To healthcare workers, to any kind of service staff – to the sweet old lady who cleans the toilets, to the grizzled dude manning the petrol pump, to the young waitress part-timing to earn some pocket money, to the police officer ticketing you for parking – no one should be on the receiving end of verbal or physical abuse.

No one.

#targetzeroabuse A little explanation for context:*This is my personal view and does not represent the organisation I…

Posted by Colin Ng on Thursday, 16 November 2017

Young child falls unconscious day after busy KKH doctor declares there’s nothing wrong with her

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25 comments

  1. Firstly, abuse gets us nowhere, my question is should the waiting time of 5 – 7 hours be considered acceptable?
    Next, my understanding is every seizure affects the brain and is especially harmful with a child.
    No one can talk about the damage unless the child is thoroughly examined.
    So I would request that KKH take the criticisms and look to making serious improvements and not allow their staff to challenge the public or make sweeping statements.
    An apology would be a good start.
    An offer to check this child and offer neurological tests will be the next step to accepting responsibility for unacceptable waiting time.

  2. Looks like febrile fits perhaps- which are scary – had it a few times myself as a toddler in the 80s. But at the time, tan tock seng hospital would always ward me for a day or 2. But then again, could be more serious like epilepsy – which warrants further medical invrstigation.

  3. Fadly Azad says:

    So whenever these kind stories come out, everyone just side the parents before even checking on the situation. Just blindly follow what is written, according to emotions. Then suddenly more of these people suddenly become medical experts. Trying to give a piece of their minds, telling hospitals and healthcare staff what to do and how to do their jobs. Just go to any hospital and see how healthcare staff are abused verbally. I do not tolerate any kind of abuse to healtcare staff. They are doing a noble job, taking care of the sick.

    Just look at the A&E department. Its called accident and emergency but more and more with less serious cases still go to the A&E. Of course have to treat the emergency cases first. But now kids who have flu, fever, cough, the parents still go to A&E.

    1. Raymond Ng says:

      How u judge those kids only have flu and cough? By looking at it? U think parents so free go there queue up to join in for fun. Of course its something emergency than they choose to go A&E

  4. Henry Tan says:

    As a parent of a small baby to a toddler. Every parent is anxious. As a professional doctor, is to calm the patient n not tell the patient if you not happy get out n go n look for another hospital kind of attitude. To be a doctor is to be a compassionate doctor n not a doctor who couldn’t care less. We are patient. Private hospital n private clinic are much better then our so called government clinic. It will not be the last case n we will see more in the future of such cases.

  5. Rique Seah says:

    If every parents thinks like Mr. Ng who’s in medical field, there won’t be any need to worry about. Apparently, it doesn’t exist this way. Every parent loves and protect their children at all cost in good and bad. Actually, it depends on how staffs interpret to get it understand and if such interpretation can be as sweet, all will be sweet. No?

  6. Sas Karma says:

    If everyone of us knows what is harmful or harmelss or even self medicate ourselves than we dont need doctors and nurses already. All hospitals should close shop!. Stupid writer does he even know what parents feel esp with young children falling ill is most worrying and their concern. If doctors and nurses lack empathy and sympathy of any kind then this job is simply not your forte!

  7. When the child is still alive, it is considered a harmless seizure. When the child is dead, then it is a serious seizure. No matter whether it is harmless or it is critical, we need to know why the doctor claimed there is nothing wrong with the child. Why no further observation such as hospital stay is required? No sane person will anyhow accuse a doctor or hospital. Such post arise shows that there is a problem. We should not wait for a bigger and serious problem arise, before start taking action. Because of the mentality that colin ng has, that result in the recent MRT issues. A service provider, including high esteemed doctor must be able to take criticism to improve themselves. Just they continue to live in their own ivoy tower world where they think they are the center of universe, More serious problems will come.

  8. I wonder if this individual understands or has the empathy to understand the emotions of parenthood… your child has a seizure… you’re panicking. But by way of explanation, “ not defending the hospital” it was nothing. “Essentially harmless.” The post is factual. But imho, lacks empathy.

    1. Jovian Low says:

      That’s the issue with most healthcare staff in government hospital. Lacking empathy. They talk to you like as if medical knowledge is something everyone shld already know.

  9. How would parents know that the seizure is harmless without any medical knowledge? Any parents would freak out once they see their child unconscious and not responding right? And I think it’s not professional to ask a patient to go to another hospital if they cannot wait.

    1. Laura Kuan says:

      Freak out and can still whip out the phone to video them? When my child had his first febrile seizures, both of us were so panicky that all our focus were on him and nothing else. Maybe they are more composed then us…..

  10. Sure, poor bed side manner doesn’t warrant abuse but neither should not expressing some empathy towards parents bordering on panic be excused either.

    They’re not doctors. You’re the medical professional. the professional in you should remember your first oath- do no harm. Your suggestion that they go to another hospital without clearly explaining your diagnosis leads to more needless anxiety when your medical experience affords you the clarity and a degree of certainty as to the probable dangers.

    Parents are civilians, they don’t know better. By leaving them in the dark over how serious (or not) their child’s state is, you are in violation of that first oath and imparting lots of mental anguish to family of the patient.

    1. I am a parent as well, but I wouldn’t claim to understand another set of parents’ medical circumstances. That a&e is overworked is not an excuse for professionals. Extending courtesy towards someone without requisite knowledge is not difficult either. It doesn’t matter if it’s curt or not,what matters is that the doctor in question assumed that his word was enough to go on.

      There are.definitely many 24hr clinics, why they chose not to visit them and go to a&e instead is not our place to guess- do you know their child’s medical history?

      We can only assess what we do know. Two panicked parents, child in distress and lack of knowledge about the situation. Everything a doctor can remedy with more information and 5 minutes of his time explaining the seriousness or lack thereof BEFORE suggesting they take the patient elsewhere.

    2. Jim Leow says:

      i m a parent. I have rushed my kid to kkh before, but not to the a&e. most know not go to a&e unless super serious. many parents rush their kid to a&e for the smallest thing. that is why a&e always overworked n super bz. what they were told, to go to another hospital, is something told to everyone. it isn’t curt. it’s simply telling them they can try another location shld they choose not to wait. there r many hospitals n 24hr clinics in SG.

    3. Steve Chia says:

      Agreed. Which parent will rush their child down to the A&E if they are not seriously concerned about the condition of their child? The doctor should assure the parents that the child is safe and take the time to explain to the layman parents what his diagnosis was instead of just brushing them off curtly as if they were wasting his time.

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