Saudi Arabia: Baby girl dies due to lack of hospital beds

Tahani al-Etaibi was born with problems in her heart muscles

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A five-month-old girl with heart problems died on Monday because there were no beds available in the intensive care unit of a hospital.

Tahani, born in Makkah’s Maternity and Children Hospital with problems in her heart muscles, needed urgent and continuous medical care.

She was at her parents’ home when her condition deteriorated; her father rushed her to the emergency unit of the same hospital, where she remained for 24 hours without getting the necessary care.

Tahani’s father, Mohammad al-Etaibi, said his baby was not admitted to the ICU because there were no beds available.

She died the next day. Furthermore, the hospital left her in the emergency unit and did not move her to the mortuary, because bodies can remain for six hours without decomposing.

Al-Etaibi said a nurse finally sympathized with him, and filled out the necessary papers because the mortuary employee was not available. Al-Etaibi is seeking full investigation and plans to take stiff measures against those who are responsible for the baby’s death.

Fawaz Alshaikh, Makkah’s Health Directorate spokesman, acknowledged that he has received a complaint from the baby’s father.

All necessary investigations and procedures will be taken, and those responsible for any dereliction of duty will be held accountable, he said.

The article was first published in the Saudi Gazette

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