Doctor gets suspended 18-month jail term in child’s death

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A Larnaca General Hospital A&E doctor was sentenced to 18 months in prison with a three-year suspension after being found guilty of medical negligence in the death of 10-year-old boy Stavros Giorgallis.

The boy died after sustaining a head injury in May 2018 while playing on a basketball court at the Alethriko primary school during a PE class.

The sentence was passed by the Larnaca District Court Friday after an earlier decision in May, finding GP Iracles Pantelidakis guilty of failing to examine the head X-ray of the 10-year-old boy properly.

Dr Pantelidakis, 41, was the GP on duty at Larnaca General’s Accident and Emergency Department.

Following the doctor’s sentencing, the boy’s mother broke into tears, shouting at the doctor that he should be ashamed.

“You cannot imagine what my husband and I go through every day,” the mother shouted.

The doctor said he was sorry, with his lawyer telling the judge he had been deeply affected by the child’s death.

Delivering its 146-page ruling last month, the district court said the defendant misdiagnosed the child’s imaging test.

The judge said that Dr Pantelidakis’ treatment was reckless and dangerous, saying he assessed the child’s x-ray “hastily, superficially, and incorrectly”.

The doctor said the child had a mild head injury and discharged him.

The boy had been injured after falling on the basketball court of Alethriko primary school during a PE lesson.

His mother rushed him to the A&E of Larnaca General, where he was soon discharged.

The boy’s mother had taken the child back to Larnaca hospital a few hours later, as the child was complaining of severe headaches.

Stavros was then transferred to Nicosia General, where he died during surgery.

The defence is expected to appeal the verdict.