Asset 3


End of content No more pages to load

Your search did not match any articles

Tatev Khachatryan

Who’s Responsible for Death of Little Artash? Not the Attending Doctor Who Graduated with Honors!

Artash, one of the three sons of Sayad Sedrakyan, would have been eight years old had doctors treated the child properly.

On December 31, 2010, Artash, then three and a half, was suffering from a respiratory problem and was taken to the Armavir Medical Center. The child was diagnosed with laryngotracheitis.  Artash was seen by Dr. Armineh Asatryan who, according to Sayad, told the family that all was alright and that Artash would be discharged by morning.

But the child’s conditioned worsened during the night. The child’s mother and grandmother tried to call a doctor to check on the boy, but the doctor wasn’t on the premises. “My wife went to the office several times but there was no one there,” says Sayad.

The father arrived at the hospital the next morning and seeing that his son’s condition had drastically worsened he wanted to talk to the attending physician. But there had been a shift change. Sayad remembers that the new doctor, Anna Aroushanyan, didn’t even know about his son’s grave condition.

Little Artash was immediately taken to the resuscitation ward.

 “There was no resuscitation equipment in the ward,” says Sayad. “If you don’t have a resuscitation ward then why are you admitting such patients, especially if they have laryngotracheitis?”

Not able to treat the child, Artash was transferred to Yerevan’s Saint Asdvatzamayr Medical Center. After four days in an unconscious state, Artash died.

“My child was in her [Armineh] Asatryan care for fifteen hours,” Sayad recounts. “In fifteen hours all she did was give him one shot of dexamethasone, which the forensic examiners found to be contra-indicated given that it lowers the organism’s immunity and the organism ceases to resist on its own.” 

After his son’s death, Sayad went to the police. The ensuing forensic examination found that death was caused by “Purulent Bronchopneumonia as a result of a general intoxication of the patient’s organism which he suffered from while alive.”

Sayad refutes this and says that the child generally healthy. “Like anyone else he had a slight chill. But he never had any respiratory or other type of illness,” says the father.

The police charged Armavir Medical Center Director Nshan Gevorgyan with medical negligence (Criminal Code Article 130), and not the attending doctor. From 2010-2014, similar charges were levied against Gevorgyan on several occasions but he never spent a day in jail due to general amnesties.

In four out of the five forensic examination that looked into the child’s death, the 40 participating doctors concluded that the treatment given Artash was inadequate and that Armavir Medical Center physicians Armineh Asatryan, Anna Aroushanyan, Garnik Davtyan (head of the children’s ward), and Karen Antonyan (resuscitation ward) made medical errors that caused the child’s demise.

Despite these findings, all the charges against Armineh Asatryan were consecutively dropped. On the first instance, the prosecutor took into account a petition signed by 31 citizens commending Asatryan for curing their kids and the fact that she graduated medical school with a “Red Diploma” (high honors).

Sayad Sedrakyan adds that Asatryan was let off the hook because she hadn’t any complaints filed against her in the year receding his son’s death. But I looked into the diploma business and found that it was a regular wrinkled blue one,” Sayad says.

The father appealed this decision to drop charges against Asatryan. Armavir Prosecutor Hakob Gharakhanyan found the substantiations to drop the charges baseless and the case was re-launched. Criminal charges were again levied and a forensic examination scheduled. Again, the charges were dropped. 

Artash’s mother was present at all the examinations. She says that most of the participating doctors weren’t previously appraised of the case.

His dream of attaining justice extinguished after taking the case to all the courts in the land, Sayad Sedrakyan gave up.

“I was fighting for all children, for my other sons, for my neighbor’s child, and for the children of all Armenia’s citizens,” he says.

“I familiarized myself with the forensic examination. The charges deal with Dr. Armineh, Resuscitation physician Karen, and ward head Garnik Davtyan who, in this case, were the attending physicians. But I was credited with medical negligence; Article 130. The examination revealed that the patient’s situation drastically worsened due to overall carelessness and neglect in conditions of absolute negligence.” Nshan Gevorgyan

Dr. Armineh Asatryan continues to work at Armavir Medical Center and assured Hetq that she did all in her power to save the child and that the problem was that the necessary equipment was lacking. She says she forgives the child’s parents for dragging her through the courts since “they lost a child.”

Sayad says he has rejected all offers made by Asatryan, through friends and family, to pay compensation. “If their cemeteries are being sold, ours isn’t,” he says. Sayad had written to the Minister of Health, requesting that Asatryan be barred from working as a doctor.


Infant Mortality in Armenia

In 2014, Armenia’s Ministry of Health recorded 439 cases of death for infants aged 0-4.

From 2009-2014, there were 2,577 cases of death involving infants under the age of one.

The leading causes are cited as: Infectious and bacterial ailments, diseases of the respiratory organs, diseases of the digestive organs, congenital disorders, conditions arising from the place of delivery, unfortunate incidents, poisoning and injuries, and others.

From 2010 to 2014, Armenia’s Police registered 121 cases of medical malpractice (negligence). 22 went to court, 54 were dropped, 2 were suspended and 43 are in the preliminary trial stage.

Write a comment

If you found a typo you can notify us by selecting the text area and pressing CTRL+Enter