• Kyodo


A 29-year-old former intern was fined 200,000 yen Wednesday for professional negligence that left a child with serious brain damage.

According to the Hiroshima District Court, Kenji Mizuno was working as an intern at Hiroshima Shimin Hospital in March 2000 when he was assigned to monitor the condition of Hosei Otani, who had undergone heart surgery and was placed in intensive care.

About 2 1/2 hours after he was moved to the intensive care unit, the child’s heart stopped and monitors showed his blood pressure had fallen.

However, Mizuno did nothing, believing there was something wrong with the monitors. As a result, the child suffered severe brain damage because of a lack of oxygen. He is now 5 years old.

Prosecutors received cases on seven people besides Mizuno in connection with the incident. The former head of the hospital’s anesthesiology section received a summary order to pay 300,000 yen in fines. The other six, including a former director of the hospital, were not indicted.

The child’s parents sued the city for 300 million yen in February 2002. The city acknowledged its negligence and the case was settled out of court.

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