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Private Healthcare Provider Employee Under Investigation In Death Of 8 Year Old

Private Healthcare Provider Employee Under Investigation In Death Of 8 Year Old

Elías Þórsson
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published October 11, 2017

A nurse working for the private homecare company Sinnum is under investigation in the 2014 death of 8 year old Ella Dís Laurens, reports RÚV.

The girl suffered from an incurable nerve disease and depended on a medical ventilator for breathing, which was connected to her throat. Sinnum employed a trained caregiver who accompanied her to school, but when that employee was unable to attend work, the company sent an untrained employee to escort the girl.

Gross neglect

It was on that day that the ventilator tube moved out of place, which lead to a lack of oxygen to her brain. The lack of oxygen caused the girl to become brain dead, which eventually killed her. On Monday, the company was sentenced to pay the girl’s parents 3 million ISK in damages after being found guilty of gross neglect.

Lacking training and experience

The court found that the employee lacked the necessary knowhow and experience to take care of the girl. The employee had no formal education aside from an elementary school degree and nothing indicated that she had received proper training in the care for children with ventilators.

The company was hired by the Reykjavík municipal authorities, but has not worked for the city for the past two years. The family of the girl sue Reykjavík for its role in her death, but the case was dismissed.


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