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Police probe alleged malpractice in tonsillectomy leading to child’s death in Indonesia

A deeply saddening event unfolded at a hospital in West Java, leading to the untimely demise of a seven-year-old patient due to brain stem death subsequent to a tonsillectomy procedure.

The hospital acknowledged a communication breakdown, and the police are now scrutinizing the incident involving eight doctors, including the hospital director, potentially facing legal consequences.




WEST JAVA, INDONESIA: A tragic incident has occurred in Bekasi, West Java’s Kartika Husada Hospital, where a seven-year-old child, referred to as BA, tragically passed away after being diagnosed with brain stem death following a tonsillectomy.

On Monday (2 Oct), at approximately 06:45 pm local time, BA took his last breath.

The news of BA’s demise, which raised suspicions of malpractice, was conveyed by his father, Albert, and corroborated by the family’s attorney, Cahaya Christmanto.

BA’s medical journey began when he underwent a tonsillectomy at Kartika Husada Jatiasih Hospital after a referral from a local health center on the 19th of last month.

Initially, BA had enlarged tonsils, prompting the recommendation for their removal.

The operation, initially scheduled for 12:00 pm on Tuesday (19 Sep), took a sudden turn when the nurse unexpectedly took the child to the operating room while BA’s mother was briefly absent to take a shower.

To her surprise, the nurse arrived unexpectedly and took BA to the operating room without her knowledge.

Albert’s wife was not allowed to accompany her child into the operating room and was instead presented with a form to sign. Overwhelmed, she signed without fully comprehending its contents.

The surgery proceeded smoothly, taking an hour, followed by the transition of BA’s care to the anaesthetist.

However, he soon experienced breathing difficulties, followed by cardiac and respiratory arrest. Cardiac resuscitation was initiated, and a ventilator was installed.

By 28 September, BA’s consciousness had significantly declined, and on the next day, he was diagnosed with brain stem death based on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) assessment.

The GCS is a clinical tool used to gauge a person’s level of consciousness after a brain injury, evaluating eye movements, speech, and body movement.

Statement from Kartika Husada Hospital

The Kartika Husada Hospital has openly acknowledged a communication breakdown that transpired with the family of a young boy who tragically experienced brain stem death following a tonsillectomy.

Nidya Kartika, the Commissioner and owner of Kartika Husada Hospital, admitted to the miscommunication related to the medical documentation for BA, a seven-year-old child who succumbed to this devastating condition.

Nidya acknowledged that issues arose during BA’s treatment, leading to misunderstandings with the patient’s family.

In a press conference held on Tuesday (3 Oct), Nidya revealed that the complete information had come to light too late, and the family’s request had been for a medical resume rather than a medical record.

This medical resume was intended to assist both parties in identifying a referral hospital with more comprehensive facilities for BA’s recovery.

Dian Indah, the Director of Kartika Husada Hospital, expressed heartfelt apologies to BA’s family and conveyed condolences for the loss of the second-grade elementary school student.

Nidya emphasized the hospital’s unwavering commitment to BA’s healing process, stating, “We have actively pursued referral options and maintained ongoing coordination with other healthcare institutions. ”

“While considering the patient’s condition, our medical and nursing teams have tirelessly exerted maximum efforts in collaboration with the family for the sake of BA’s recovery.”

Police launch investigation into suspected medical malpractice

The situation has escalated to a police investigation into alleged malpractice or negligence in the tonsillectomy, as BA’s parents reported eight doctors involved in the incident.

Grand Commissioner Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko, the Head of Public Relations at the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Regional Police, has officially confirmed the commencement of a comprehensive investigative process to determine whether any criminal misconduct is associated with this tragic case.

In his statement on Tuesday (3 Oct), he emphasized, “A series of investigative efforts will be diligently undertaken to examine the reported allegations of criminal acts and establish whether a criminal incident indeed transpired.”

The Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Regional Police is fully committed to conducting a meticulous investigation aimed at uncovering any potential criminal wrongdoing.

As part of this investigative process, all relevant parties involved will be promptly questioned and their statements carefully evaluated to ensure a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the case.

Cahaya Christmanto, the attorney representing BA’s parents, believes there may have been a failure to take appropriate action, potentially constituting malpractice or negligence.

In light of these concerns, a total of eight doctors, including the hospital director, have been reported for their involvement in BA’s treatment.

The doctors involved face potential legal consequences under relevant laws pertaining to consumer protection and health.

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