Turkish Health Ministry investigates death of businessman Çağlar amid negligence claims
The Turkish Health Ministry launched an investigation into the death of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) head İbrahim Çağlar on Dec. 13, following speculations of medical negligence, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The leading businessman died of a heart attack on Dec. 11 at the age of 57 in Istanbul. But soon after, speculations of medical negligence have emerged surrounding Çağlar’s death.
Health Ministry Undersecretary Eyüp Gümüş said the ministry would launch an investigation regarding the claims of medical negligence on Dec. 13.
“Managing emergencies is difficult. A person coming [to hospital] with only stomach ache complaints might actually be suffering a heart attack. In that sense, because of news shared with the public and released to the press, we are, as of today [Dec. 13], launching an investigation and carrying out an analysis. Our teams are in Istanbul,” Gümüş said.
Asked if there was “negligence” regarding Çağlar’s death, Gümüş said: “These statements need to be looked into. His [Çağlar’s] file needs to be looked at, medical examinations conducted from the time he was admitted to hospital until he was discharged need to be analyzed. We’ll make an evaluation after looking at those files and the examinations conducted.”
Speculations of medical negligence surrounding Çağlar’s death first emerged after a column penned by daily Hürriyet columnist Vahap Munyar on Dec. 12.
Munyar wrote that Çağlar went to a private hospital in Istanbul on the night he passed away after “feeling numbness and pain in his arm and chest.”
The doctors on call reportedly examined Çağlar, performing an echocardiogram (EKG) on him to measure his heart’s electrical activity at around 1 a.m. on Dec. 11. After the doctors pointed out the possibility of gas as the cause of the pain, they prescribed him with medication and sent him home.
However, on his way home with his wife, Çağlar was reported to have passed out in the car. As his wife drove back to the hospital, medical staff gave him a cardiac massage and led him to the hospital’s main center in another district, where the businessman was subject to an angiography.
“One of the clots was blocked, so we placed a stent. We will keep the patient here for two days under observation. His body was starved of oxygen for a while, which might have created a problem,” the doctors told Çağlar’s wife, pointing out the amount of time that had passed while Çağlar was unconscious in the car.
Çağlar died following another heart attack near twilight the same day, leading to speculations that there might have been negligence on the part of the health personnel, especially by the doctors on call.