CEBU -- An overseas Filipino worker is crying for justice after his wife died at the Mandaue City Hospital where she sought treatment for recurring fever three weeks ago.
Cesar Coliflores, 42, who works as a driver in Saudi Arabia, said he will sue the doctors and nurses whom he believes had given wrong medication to his wife Jocelyn, 40, last January 2.
The Coliflores family is questioning the cause of Jocelyn’s death.
According to the death certificate issued by the hospital, Jocelyn died from “probable ruptured cerebral aneurysm.” This means that a vein in her head could have erupted.
Her death was logged at 10:45 p.m.
The certificate was signed by Dr. Rachel Anne Segovia and Dr. Ma. Lourdes Espinoza.
But the autopsy report said Jocelyn died because of “sudden cardiac arrest” and “left ventricular hypertrophy,” both involving heart malfunctions.
Coliflores secured an autopsy report from the Philippine National Police Regional Crime Laboratory Office-Central Visayas. The cadaver was examined by Chief Inspector Felino Brunia Jr. last January 3.
Coliflores posted a video clip showing his wife yelling inside a hospital room and threatening to sue the doctors and nurses for “killing” her.
Uploaded last January 13 on social networking site Facebook, the three-minute clip has gone viral with nearly 5,000 shares and more than 200,000 views as of Thursday afternoon.
The video was taken by their eight-year-old son, who can be heard crying, less than an hour before she died.
Dr. Espinoza, hospital chief, said an investigation is underway although no formal complaint has reached her office yet.
But she stood firm that the hospital did not commit lapses.
“There’s nothing to complain and worry about because, on our part, we did our best. We did the right thing on the patient,” she told reporters.
Accompanied by her children and sister, Jocelyn went to the City Hospital around 6 p.m. The family lives in Sitio Villamanga, Barangay Opao.
Before going to the city hospital, they went to the Dr. Ignacio Cortes Hospital around 10 a.m. because of Jocelyn’s recurring fever since December 31 but there were no available private rooms.
Jocelyn wanted a private room so her two children, ages eight and 11, could stay with her, said her cousin Marietta Booc, 57.
Shelly Rose, 11, said her mother took medication to lower her blood pressure.
The medication was given by medical personnel at the Dr. Ignacio Cortes Hospital.
At the city hospital, Coliflores said a doctor told his wife that she didn’t have to be admitted because her illness wasn’t serious.
But Jocelyn had insisted. Around 9 p.m., Coliflores said, nurses administered two 750-milligram vial powders of Cefuroxime (Lasuzef) to Jocelyn through her dextrose.
Four vials had been prescribed by the doctor, said Coliflores.
He questioned the medication as this is given to treat urinary tract infection. He said his wife had not undergone laboratory tests yet.
He said his wife started shouting about 30 minutes after Lasuzef was given.
The nurses then tied her to the bed and injected her with 50 milligrams of Diphenhydramine HCI (Soniphen), he said. The vial indicated that the medication is antihistamine and anticholinergic.
He said that about 10 minutes later, Jocelyn lost consciousness and was later declared dead.
In the video clip, Jocelyn kept flailing her arms and seemed to be having a hard time breathing.
“Ila kong gipatay! Salbahis mo! Ikiha ta mo! (They killed me. You are cruel. I will sue you),” she yelled.
She can be heard telling her son to keep taking a video of her.
Espinoza said two doctors and three nurses will be placed under investigation. She identified the doctors as Dr. Antonette Alcantara, who was in-charge of the Emergency Room, and Dr. Segovia, who was supervising the ward.
The Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas received Thursday a copy of Coliflores’s complaint.
In a GMA 24 Oras 24 report aired Thursday, Eizabeth Tabasa, DOH-Central Visayas officer-in-charge, confirmed receiving the complaint from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regarding Coliflores’s case.
Tabasa said they will form a body to look into Jocelyn’s death.
If malpractice is indicated, Tabasa said, the complaint will be forwarded to the Philippine Medical Association.
Mayor Jonas Cortes assured an investigation will be conducted.
‘Died in 30 mins’
Coliflores, who arrived from Saudi last January 6, told reporters that he didn’t expect his wife to die that night as they even talked on the phone and joked with each other.
“Hilanat ra gyud na on and off iya sakit ngano naabot siya didto. Ang akong naproblemahan, unsang sakita diay nga mamatay lang ka sulod sa traynta minutos (Recurring fever was the only reason she was in the hospital. What illness can kill you just within 30 minutes)?” he said.
He said Jocelyn had hypertension but she didn’t have maintenance medication. She took medicines for hypertension only when she didn’t feel well.
Coliflores lamented that the hospital staff treated his wife like a crazy person, tying her to the bed.
He also said their children may have been traumatized from witnessing their mother’s death.
Coliflores said he will not be returning to Saudi anytime soon. He will seek justice for his wife and take care of their young children.
Jocelyn was buried last January 18 at the Manpark Cemetery in Mandaue City. (RSB/With JKV/Sun.Star Cebu)