WA’s daughter’s family awaits answers to investigation | Western Magazine
Aishwarya Aswath’s family have commemorated her life as a coroner in Western Australia prepares to examine what led to the girl’s death.
Sunday marked a year since Aishwarya, seven, died of sepsis after presenting to the emergency department at Perth Children’s Hospital.
Her parents, siblings and other loved ones and community members gathered at the family home in Perth to mark the anniversary.
Aishwarya was taken to PCH on Easter Saturday last year with a fever and sorted by a nurse – who did not check her vital signs – into the second least urgent category.
Within 20 minutes of arriving, her hands were cold, her eyes were discolored, and her respiratory rate and heart rate were significantly elevated.
But a review by the Child and Adolescent Health Service found the seriousness of her condition was not acknowledged until an hour and 17 minutes later, despite Aishwarya’s parents expressing concern five times.
She was pronounced dead within two hours of entering an intensive care bay, after succumbing to a group A strep infection.
An inquest into his death will begin on August 24 and continue for eight days, the WA Coroner’s Court confirmed this week.
On Sunday, family lawyer Suresh Rajan read out a statement on behalf of Aishwarya’s grieving parents, Aswath Chavittupara and Prasitha Sasidharan.
“Aishwarya’s tragic death must not be in vain,” they said.
“The past year has been the darkest and most torturous days of our lives. Because of the loss of our daughter, we will suffer for the rest of our lives.
“We want justice. We are relieved that dates for the inquest have now been set and we look forward to finding answers about what happened that night.”
An independent report last year said PCH staff had been “exhausted and demoralized” before Aishwarya died.
The Australian Healthcare Safety and Quality Commission has described the emergency department’s triage and waiting areas as vulnerable and “suboptimal”, a finding the McGowan government has sought to downplay.
Aishwarya’s parents said the healthcare system needed to change.
“The key thing here is integrity,” they said.
“A denial and defensive approach will only make things worse and the suffering of innocent people will continue.”
Australian Associated Press