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Elementary school student dies from brain hemorrhage after hospitals deny admission

July 24, 2023 - 14:22 By Park Soong-joo

The recent death of an elementary school student has sparked public outrage, following allegations of lax responses by the school and nearby hospitals.

The student, a sixth grader in Daejeon, collapsed on June 30 at her school.

Surveillance footage from the school released by local media shows the student appearing in pain in the school hallway for three minutes until a teacher opens a classroom door after hearing her screams.

She was reportedly on her way back to the classroom after visiting the nurse's office for a headache, and can be seen repeatedly standing up and sitting down before collapsing on the floor.

The sixth grader is reported to have spent about two hours on school grounds and on the road, as hospitals near the location rejected her admission. Emergency personnel who were called to the scene contacted hospitals nearby, but got responses from all hospitals that they were unable to take her.

She had to wait for about an hour, although the ambulance arrived 50 minutes after she complained of a headache, to be taken to a hospital in Sejong.

Emergency authorities said they had to locate a hospital before transferring her to minimize any possible delay on the road, and that she had to be taken to farther away because hospitals near her were incapable of accommodating pediatric neurosurgery.

The girl was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage and went into emergency surgery, but she passed away after two weeks.

Her family is planning to request a police investigation of the school faculty, as they feel the school did not respond appropriately.

The mother told local news that her daughter was already losing consciousness when she arrived at school, and that "the school failed to call the ambulance when my daughter was losing control of her body and screaming in the elevator."

The school has said that the sixth grader was conscious and able to speak before her mother arrived, and they had responded according to the emergency manual.