Wife of Thai envoy, 53, dies in Seoul hospital

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Wife of Thai envoy, 53, dies in Seoul hospital

The wife of the ambassador of Thailand died in a Seoul hospital Monday from an acute intestinal obstruction and the embassy is preparing to sue the hospital for malpractice.

An official of the Soonchunhyang University Hospital in Seoul told the Korea JoongAng Daily yesterday that Thitinart Satjipanon, 53, died from acute intestinal obstruction at 9:29 a.m. on Monday. The official said that the patient came to the hospital Friday after suffering a stomach ache following a dinner party the day before. The hospital recommended Satjipanon be hospitalized for three to four days for treatment and scheduled an X-ray examination, but she suddenly felt so fatigued she couldn’t stand up. She was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) and received emergency treatment, the hospital said, but died two days later.

The hospital said it was a sudden death it couldn’t prevent.

The embassy told Korean media that Satjipanon’s death was caused by the hospital not giving her appropriate treatment in the ICU, particularly when her condition deteriorated on Monday. An official of the embassy told the Korea JoongAng Daily yesterday they were not able to provide any official statement about the death yet, but confirmed that the embassy is preparing a lawsuit against the hospital.

The embassy said Satjipanon was healthy and exercised daily. Some Korean media outlets reported yesterday that the hospital apologized for inappropriate treatments given Satjipanon shortly before her death.

But the official of the hospital told the Korea JoongAng Daily that those reports were wrong and that it only expressed condolences over her death. The hospital asked the embassy to pay 18 million won ($15,570) for Satjipanon’s treatment.

By Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [경향신문]

주한 태국대사 부인 ‘의문의 죽음’

지난 19일 오전 9시 29분쯤 급성 장폐색증으로 숨진 차이용 삿지파논 주한 태국대사의 부인인 신티나트 삿지파논(53)의 사망 원인을 두고 논란이 일고 있다. 태국대사관 측은 진료를 맡았던 순천향대병원의 응급조치 미숙으로 신티나트가 숨졌다고 주장하고 있다. 반면 병원 측은 자연사로 처리, 병원비 수납을 요구했다. 일각에서는 의료분쟁뿐 아니라 외교문제로 비화할 가능성까지 제기하고 있다.

신티나트는 지난 15일 한 대사관에서 열린 파티에 갔다가 심한 복통이 일어나 순천향대병원을 찾았다. 병원 측은 신티나트가 단순히 배에 가스가 찬 것으로 진단, 3~4일 정도 입원토록 했다. 그러나 17일 X선 촬영을 하기 위해 20분가량 대기하던 신티나트는 갑자기 힘이 빠져 설 수도 없는 등 증세가 악화된 것으로 알려졌다. 곧바로 중환자실로 옮겨졌지만 19일 오전 숨을 거뒀다. 담당의사는 사망전 응급조치를 제대로 하지 못해 미안하다는 뜻을 유가족 측에 전한 것으로 밝혀졌다.

병원 측의 사망진단서에는 신티나트가 자연사한 것으로 기록됐다. 태국대사관 관계자는 “명백한 의료사고인데도 병원 측은 응급처치 및 입실비용으로 1800만원을 청구했다”며 “법적으로 대응해 나갈 것”이라고 밝혔다. 신티나트는 평소 헬스클럽에 다니며 운동을 즐기는 등 건강했던 것으로 알려졌다.
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