Viru County Court on Thursday found a doctor from Ida-Viru Central Hospital guilty of negligent homicide following the death of a misdiagnosed patient; the doctor was handed a conditional prison sentence.
Igor Gorjatšov, 39, was handed a conditional sentence of one year and six months followed by two years of probation, reported ERR's Russian-language news portal.
The doctor was also ordered to pay slightly over 14,500 euros to cover the cost of the victims' civil suit.
Prosecutor Olga Dorogan had sought a longer conditional sentence as well as to have Gorjatšov banned from practicing medicine. The prosecutor also found that the court should satisfy the civil suit against the plaintiff and order Gorjatšov to pay out nearly 50,000 euros as sought.
ER patient sent home
According to the statement of charges, Gorjatšjov was on duty in the emergency room at Ida-Viru Central Hospital when 42-year-old Valeri was brought in from the town of Sillamäe. Paramedics had detected low blood pressure, a pale complexion and other symptoms of illness and the patient had also lost consciousness. The patient complained of stomach pains.
Approximately twelve hours later, during the early hours of Nov. 25, the same paramedics were called out to the same house in Sillamäe, where they found Valeri once again in bed; as it turned out, the doctor on duty at the emergency room the night before, Gorjatšjov, had diagnosed the patient with an intestinal infection and sent him home for treatment.
As the patient was in critical condition, the paramedics took him to the hospital once more, and while he underwent an operation, the hospital's doctors were ultimately unable to save his life.
Following the patient's death, his family took the case to a healthcare quality committee which identified that his death had been the result of a medical error. A criminal investigation was then launched which led to the doctor's trial.
Under Estonian law, negligent homicide is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla