'Recruit died because of carelessness'

Investigation committee: Candidate Itai Sharon given improper medical attention.

December 17, 2006 12:28
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An internal Israel Air Force committee charged with investigating the death of a 17-year-old flight school candidate during tryouts in August reported Sunday that the tragedy was a result of a series of major organizational failures in the testing system and in the medical personnel's performance. According to the committee's findings, Itai Sharon, who collapsed during a two-hour hike by an IAF base in the Negev, was not given medical attention for over an hour after complaining of not feeling well. The medic who treated him, the committee added, had not received proper medical training and misdiagnosed Sharon with water poisoning, when he was actually suffering from heat exhaustion. As a result, Sharon did not receive the appropriate medical treatment. The youth's evacuation was also mishandled and Sharon was initially taken to a military vehicle with a warm floor, which caused his body temperature to increase. Beersheba's Soroka Hospital was also not warned of an incoming patient in critical condition, and as a result did not prepare the Intensive Care Unit for him. The committee recommended sanctions against the head of the IAF flight school corps, as well as against several medical personnel.

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