Dr. Elena Duta, the Romanian emergency specialist who rushed the deceased Cameroonian footballer Patrick Ekeng to hospital after he collapsed on the pitch in Bucharest, Romania, has been charged with manslaughter, BBC says.
The Romanian public prosecutor has accused Dr. Duta of not making any attempt to resuscitate the 26-year-old Cameroonian national before rushing him to hospital.
Ekeng, a midfielder for Club Dinamo, collapsed and died during a football match against Viitorul Constanta. The autopsy report showed the player had several heart complications.
While appreciating the player’s preexisting condition, the prosecutor insisted that Duta’s inaction gave him no chance for survival.
“She did not evaluate the footballer’s state of health and made no attempt at resuscitation,” the prosecutor argued.
Ekeng collapsed in the 70th minute, just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Poor Emergency Care
Ekeng’s death brought to the fore critical questions about the safety of players, with some people calling on FIFA to formulate regulations that will make small hospitals a mandatory requirement for every stadium.
Initial reports indicate that the ambulance used to rush the Cameroonian player to hospital did not have a functional automatic external defibrillator – a device that sends powerful electric shocks to the heart to help restore its natural rhythm.
Romania’s Ministry of Health launched an inquiry into the company that supplied the ambulance, claiming that it was operating illegally. Further investigations into the ambulance revealed that the available defibrillator machine had expired batteries.
Ekeng Buried in Cameroon
The fallen champion was laid to rest in his hometown Yaoundé, Cameroon, on May 16 in an emotional sendoff ceremony attended by high-profile personalities including a representative of Cameroonian President Paul Biya and Minister for Sports and Physical Education Bidoung Kipwatt.
Patrick Ekeng left behind a wife, Nathalie, and a young daughter.