Brežice hospital ordered to pay EUR 81,000 in damages

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Krško – The Krško District Court has ordered the Brežice general hospital to pay EUR 81,238 in damages to the relatives of a 61-year-old cardiac patient who died after the hospital failed to transfer him to Ljubljana for treatment on time, the newspapers Delo and Slovenske Novice report. Both sides have appealed against the ruling.

The judgement concludes that Vlade Rokvić, a popular primary teacher, died due to “unprofessional treatment” as the hospital allegedly acted against the medical doctrine.

Court-appointed witnesses found that Brežice hospital staff acted erroneously by failing to have the patient moved to a medical emergency centre featuring a cardiac unit or let the relatives on time to organise such a transfer, or, alternatively, contact the Ljubljana or Maribor UKC centres for consultation or admission as the only suitable institutions to treat such conditions in the country.

If the Brežice hospital had taken any of those courses of action, the patient would have stood a great chance of survival.

The court president Gojmir Pešec told Slovenske Novice that the ruling was not yet final and both sides lodged appeals.

The man was treated in the Brežice hospital in January 2012 after having two stents inserted at the Celje hospital due to a heart attack. His heart stopped after three days in Brežice but he was successfully resuscitated.

The relatives demanded he be immediately transferred to Ljubljana UKC, but the hospital failed to do so. The relatives arranged themselves for a helicopter transfer to Ljubljana but the patient died soon after being admitted at UKC Ljubljana.