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Previously Convicted Doctor Blamed for Newborn’s Death

A newborn baby died in Yerevan’s Muratsan hospital on Sunday, two days after being born in a hospital in the town of Armavir. Shortly after birth, the baby was diagnosed by Armavir doctors with hypoxia and hemorrhage, and transferred to Yerevan for further, albeit unsuccessful, treatment. After the infant’s death, Muratsan doctors told the family that the newborn had been brought to them with heart failure and pneumonia. The family, however, blames doctors for the death of the baby, insisting that it did not have any problems before birth.

Speaking to Epress.am on Monday, Irina Khachaturyan, an Armavir Medical Centre doctor, said that the infant would have had a 99% probability of surviving had the woman’s doctor, obstetrician-gynecologist Nshan Gevorgyan, decided to deliver the baby through cesarean section.

“The newborn was transferred to the Muratsan hospital with a hypoxia and hemorrhage diagnosis. However, these complications could have been avoided had the baby been delivered by c-section. Of course, this is only an assumption; the problem is much more complex than that. But in any case, a cesarean delivery is preferable if a woman has a too narrow pelvis,” Khachaturyan noted.

The infant’s grandfather, Rustam Isayan, for his part, argued that the Armavir doctors’ initial story was entirely different. “To save their own skin, they told us that the baby had died of heart defects and pneumonia. But the baby was completely healthy before birth, and at first we were not even informed of the complications,” Isayan said in a conversation with Epress.am.

Epress.am today contacted the Muratsan hospital to inquire about the official version of the newborn’s death; the staff, however, said that the information would only be made available on Tuesday.

Despite blaming the infant’s death on the medical staff, the family does not intend to press charges against the doctors. “We did not even want to take the 4-day-old baby to the morgue, so we’ve already buried him,” the grandfather said.

The press service of Armenia’s Investigative Committee, in turn, told Epress.am that an investigation into the baby’s death has not been launched “because there has been no complaint.”

Note, according to the judicial information system, OB/GYN Nshan Gevorgyan has several past convictions for professional misconduct. In 2010, when Gevorgyan was the director of the Armavir hospital, he, instead of providing a proper resuscitation team and an ambulance, sent a taxi to transfer minor patient Hovhannes Hovhannisyan to Armavir from a Yerevan hospital; as a result, the child died on the way to the hospital.

On another occasion, Gevorgyan had failed to ensure that the ambulances were provided with enough fuel, because of which a medical team was unable to arrive to a patient, who subsequently died.

At the same time, Gevorgyan haid failed to equip the hospital with supplies and equipment for pediatric emergency care, as a result of which a child admitted to the hospital on January 1, 2011, died due to lack of proper treatment.

The three cases were merged into single proceedings, and the doctor was sentenced to 5 years in prison, without a deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities. However, Gevorgyan was soon granted clemency and relieved from punishment.

In 2014, Gevorgyan was taken to court for demanding a bribe from a pregnant woman’s mother-in-law to perform c-section. Receiving a rejection, Gevorgyan had denied the woman care altogether. The court found Gevorgyan guilty and sentenced him to 1, 5 years in prison; at the same time, however, the court decided to suspend the sentence for two years. Note that Gevorgyan’s probationary period has yet to expire.