Sri Lankan Died After Repeatedly Seeking Help From Adelaide Hospital

(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette) An inquest has been told that a Sri Lankan had died after repeatedly seeking help from the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) three times within five days in November 2020.

An inquest has begun into the deaths of two young men who sought help several times from Adelaide emergency departments during the COVID pandemic - with one of the men allegedly being told by paramedics that he was being“over dramatic” before he died at home.

The SA Coroners Court heard Sri Lankan national Sachintha Battagodage, 23, sought help from the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) three times within five days in November 2020, telling doctors he was coughing and vomiting up blood before he died from a ruptured chest pseudoaneurysm.

He had moved to Adelaide in the same year with his wife, Yelani Perera, and had commenced work as a cleaner while she was studying as an international student.

Counsel assisting, Emma Roper, told the court on the 23-year-old's third visit to the RAH, Ms Perera asked for her husband to be admitted before they were asked to follow up with a GP.

“She told the nurse that her husband was fearing for his life and he had lost too much blood,” Ms Roper said.

“Her pleas for medical assistance for her husband went unheeded.”

The court heard his wife then drove him to a GP and he was recommended to have an urgent scan at a radiology clinic in Glenelg.

“However, very shortly after the scan was performed, Mr Battagodage's pseudoaneurysm ruptured – and he could not be saved,” Ms Roper said.

The court heard Mr Battagodage had taken photos and videos of the blood he was coughing and vomiting up to help inform medical professionals - including his final moments when he collapsed at the radiology clinic, with his resuscitation being captured on camera.

Providing evidence through an interpreter to the court, Ms Perera said she thought hospital staff would have taken her husband's case more seriously because he was vomiting blood.

“It was our first time in a hospital, we were scared, we had no confidence,” Ms Perera said.

“[My husband] was going with whatever they were saying.”

Paramedics allegedly called patient 'naughty'

The inquest will also look into the death of 38-year-old father-of-two Hemant Chadha who died at home with pneumonia after seeking help from the RAH and Lyell McEwin Hospital on three occasions within a week.

Ms Roper told the court Mr Chadha was taken to taken to the emergency department from his GP clinic by two paramedics.

The counsel assisting said the paramedics allegedly asked his wife,“How did he get here? Did he crawl?” when she asked them to assist him with a wheelchair.

Ms Roper said on the second occasion they called paramedics, the same two officers attended and allegedly said“you again” when they arrived.

“The ambulance officers accused her husband of creating drama and I quote, 'being naughty',” she said.

The counsel assisting said a neighbour who witnessed the retrieval will provide evidence in the inquest that she heard an officer saying“why is he making this all up? He should man up”.

The court heard the alleged comments caused distress for the couple and ultimately Mr Chadha prevented his wife from calling an ambulance hours before he died due to their previous experience.

Counsel assisting told the court the inquest will also look into why the hospital failed to investigate the Mr Chadha's complaints of facial numbness.

The inquest will also hear evidence from the two treating paramedics. (ABC News / Colombo Gazette)


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