Malaria death considered for manslaughter

Sofia and family

 TRENTO- The malarial parasite that was responsible for the death of four-year-old girl, Sofia, has been confirmed to be the same as the one which had infected two other children, hospitalized in Trento at the same time as the little girl. An investigation into the possibility of manslaughter has begun, Thursday.

 The two other children with the infection, girls aged 4 and 11, had returned from Burkina Faso with the virus and were being treated in the same paediatric department as Sofia, who was there for treatment for diabetes, confirmed Nunzia Di Palma, in charge of the unit. Also in hospital being treated for malaria was the mother and older teenage brother of the two little girls. All four patients have recovered and have been discharged from the hospital.

 “The family came into hospital with the two little girls, because they had high fevers, and said that they had come back from a trip to Burkina Faso a week ago”, said Di Palma. The eldest brother was the first to come down with symptoms of the disease but was treated and, with his mother, dismissed within four days. The father and another child did not come down with the illness.

 According to Di Palma, the first child, 11, came into the paediatric department Aug. 16 and was discharged Aug. 21. The second, 4, arrived Aug. 20 and was dismissed Aug. 24. The child who died, Sofia, was there in Trento from Aug. 16-21, which coincided with the days on which the infected children were also being treated in the unit.

 According to Il Messaggero, an investigation has begun in Trento for manslaughter. It seeks to determine whether or not the care protocols were followed and if this eventually led to the death of the child. She had never travelled abroad.

 It is also important to work out how the bacteria was transmitted, whether it was through puncture by a mosquito or through contamination of surgical instruments used on patients.

In charge of the case in Trento is head attorney, Marco Gallina.