Province of Ammochosto - Complaint: 41-year-old Panagiotis died because they did not know who would take care of him

"They had neither the necessary knowledge nor the relevant expertise to act immediately and efficiently"

Untitled design 78 exclusive, sickle cell disease, Complaint

The national thalassemia committee filed a complaint regarding the death of 41-year-old Panagiotis Anastasis from Sotira, who died on Wednesday from sickle cell anemia.

As the Phileleftheros newspaper reports in today's publication, the National Committee for Thalassemia and other Hemoglobin Diseases and the Pancypriot Association of Sickle Cell and Micro-Sickle Anemia, and add that the doctors, "although they did everything humanly possible to save his life, they did not even have the necessary knowledge, nor the relevant expertise to act immediately and effectively", pointing out at the same time that, while the National Health Services Organization has been given the necessary scientific guidelines for the treatment of these patients, it seems that these have never reached the doctors of the Departments Accidents and Emergencies so they know how to act when the need arises.

"We cannot allow lives to be lost on the altar of delays and misunderstanding", said the president of EETH, Androula Eleftheriou, speaking to "F". "According to information available to the Association and the Commission, the patient in question was admitted with severe pain two days ago to the General Hospital of Famagusta. The doctors who took over the incident, although they did everything humanly possible to save his life, did not have either the necessary knowledge or the relevant expertise to act immediately and effectively", said Ms. Eleftheriou and argued that "until it is achieved consultation about which doctor and which department would undertake to proceed with a blood transfusion, necessary clinical intervention in these cases based on international protocols, his condition had rapidly deteriorated resulting in his death".

"The painful loss of such a young fellow human being highlights in the most emphatic way the serious gaps created by the absence of institutionalized procedures and protocols for the timely and effective treatment of emergency patients with this particular disease, which is still the "poor relative ” of hematological diseases in our country, mainly due to the small number of sufferers”, emphasized the president of EETH.

Both the National Committee and the Sickle Cell and Micro Sickle Cell Anemia Association, said Mrs. Eleftheriou, "are asking OKYpY to investigate without delay the conditions and causes that led to the premature death of this youngest sufferer of ours and to proceed, without further delays and postponements in the necessary interventions so that the prescribed protocols and the necessary treatment procedures and immediate referral to specialized areas of emergency complications are applied from now on, to all sickle cell anemia patients without exception, when and as long as this is required".

Sickle cell anemia, he explained, "is an inherited hematological disorder with a distinct pathology from our familiar thalassemia, however, since both belong to the family of hemoglobinopathies, both thalassemia and sickle cell patients are usually seen by the same physicians."

About 80 patients with sickle cell anemia live in Cyprus, "but, while the disease is mainly seen in people of African or Middle Eastern origin, its frequency has increased in recent years in Europe and Cyprus mainly due to the increase in immigration flows from countries where the prevalence is high'. The treatment of the disease, added Mrs. Eleftheriou, "is difficult and can often lead to premature and sudden death. This is why there is a need for the observance and implementation of guidelines that lead to uniform treatment, especially in terms of the recognition, prevention and management of the serious, acute and chronic complications it causes to sufferers, such as e.g. acute vaso-occlusive crises and acute chest syndrome".

The EETH, said the president of the Committee, "in collaboration with the International Thalassemia Federation, has issued and made available to OKYPY, for two years, guidelines for the treatment of sickle cell disease in adult patients".

The guidelines, he added, "although they have been adopted, have probably not been given to all doctors in the Accident and Emergency Departments who are on the front line of providing emergency medical care to patients throughout Cyprus."

Concluding, he emphasized that "specialized knowledge and immediate management of such incidents is really valuable and could, in this case, save the life of the unfortunate patient. We will not allow human lives to be lost on the altar of delays and incomprehension."