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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malpractice claimed in child’s tragic death

Malpractice claimed in child’s tragic death

A clinic owner in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town settled out of court for an undisclosed sum on Saturday after a family accused him of malpractice following the death of their 4-month-old daughter, though the cause of death remained unclear yesterday.

Chea Da, military police commander in Poipet, said that the child’s parents had brought her to Clinic Sok Visal at around 6pm on Friday after she began having difficulty breathing.

Staff treated the child with a medicinal vapour, her condition improved and the parents took her home.

A few hours later, however, the baby began exhibiting symptoms of colic.

“At about 9pm . . . a female physician gave them liquid medicine drops and then they went back home,” he said.

“At about 12am, the parents brought the baby to the clinic again, but were asked to go to another place.”

The girl died upon arriving at the town’s referral hospital, after which her parents accused the clinic of malpractice, and clinic owner Kou Sok Visal was brought in for questioning, Da said.

The girl’s mother, Say Chanthorn, 33, said yesterday that her baby didn’t have a pre-existing condition.

She added that she suspected her child overdosed on the medicine, even though she had given her less than the recommended dosage.

Her main complaint, however, was that the clinic refused them service when they returned.

“My daughter’s body temperature fell dramatically . . . When we came for the treatment at the clinic, the clinic did not open for us,” Chanthorn said.

She added that the clinic had acknowledged it had failed to do all it could to save the infant, and an agreement on compensation had been reached on Saturday.

Chanthorn, however, declined to name the amount of compensation the clinic agreed to pay to her family.

Sok Visal could not be reached yesterday.

Da said that he had maintained to police that the baby’s death had stemmed from another condition, not his clinic’s treatment.

An investigation into the cause of death, Da added, would be difficult at this point because the child has already been buried and the family would be reluctant to exhume the body.



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