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Seven probed in child's death on operating table

Two surgeons, anesthetist and four others named at Rome clinic

31 March, 16:03
Seven probed in child's death on operating table (ANSA) - Rome, March 31 - Prosecutors are investigating a seven-member surgical team on allegations of involuntary manslaughter in the case of a 10-year-old girl who died Saturday on the operating table, judicial sources said Monday.

Giovanna lost her life at a private Rome clinic during what doctors reportedly told her parents would be a routine operation to reconstruct her right eardrum, which had suffered lesions due to repeated infection. Prosecutors are investigating two ear, nose and throat specialists, an anesthetist, and four other medical personnel present during surgery.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday to determine the cause of death.

Carabinieri military police seized all relevant documentation at the Villa Mafalda clinic, which offers specialized diagnostics, surgery, and obstetrics.

"How can my daughter be dead because of a banal ear operation?" said the girl's father.

The clinic defended the doctors.

"Our doctors fought a long time to save the child's life.

Our trust in their judgment is indisputable," the clinic said. Villa Mafalda has been under the spotlight before. Prosecutors last year placed four of its medical staff, including a cardiologist and an anesthetist, under investigation for involuntary manslaughter after writer Alberto Bevilacqua died there on September 9. The 79-year-old novelist and filmmaker had been admitted to the clinic eleven months earlier with heart problems.

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