Western Australia has offered an unreserved apology to the family of Aishwarya Aswath, who died at Perth Children’s. Roger Cook addressed the tragic death of the seven-year-old girl in parliament on Wednesday and tabled the recommendations from the first investigation into her death.
“I wish to apologize unreservedly for this failure and for the Health Services, and all the health community, I say to Aishwarya’s family — I am sorry.”Aishwarya’s death has caused her family and community,” he said. “On behalf of the McGowan Government, Child, and Adolescent
Mr. Cook said it was clear Aishwarya should have received betterwhen her parents took her on Easter Saturday with a fever. The report found the seven-year-old had succumbed to an infection related to group A streptococcus after being largely ignored for two hours.
Aishwarya’s parents were given a copy of the report this morning. Her parents, Aswath Chavittupara and Prasitha Sasidharan, pleaded with staff to assess her as her eyes became cloudy and her handsand rigid. She died soon after seeing a doctor.
“It is vital that we now give theto read and process the report,” Mr. Cook said. “We must respect their right to privacy and acknowledge that this report documents in detail the final hours of their daughter‘s life — it is confronting and extremely distressing to read.”
The initial report made eleven recommendations, including a review of cultural awareness for staff, a pathway for parents to properlyto staff, improvements to the triage policy at Perth Children’s Hospital, and the adaptation of an established sepsis recognition tool.
After the initial investigations, Mr. Cook requested a second, independent inquiry into the Perth Children’s Hospital emergency department. “It is vital that we learn what happened at Perth Children’s Hospital and continue to improve the care provided to the children and young people of Western Australia,” he said.
“Ithis tragic event has been felt by staff across Perth Children‘s Hospital, and we must continue supporting them and their work.” Family spokesman Suresh Rajan told ABC that Aishwarya’s parents welcomed the report, but more needed to be done.
“When we look at the recommendations themselves, we are staggered that it takes theto have those recommendations for procedural changes, which should be given for any hospital in a first-world nation,” he said. “It means this is almost a line in the sand to say we must move on from here.
“It has taken the death of a child, but if it results in a better, then that apology is welcome as a starting point. “They’ve gone from a position of grief to a position of anger … what (Aishwarya’s parents) are driven by now is very much around systemic change that will maensureo one else has to go through this.”
The grieving parents held a hunger strike outside the hospital earlier thisto demand answers over her death — before the findings from today’s inquiry were handed down. committed to two separate investigations into Aishwarya’s death earlier this month.
“It’s a very, very sad thing for the. I think everyone feels for them, but we can’t possibly understand their grief,” he said. “It’s beyond imagining. “There’ll be two inquiries into the matter to get to the bottom of what has occurred. I think we owe the family and Aishwarya that as a state.”