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Home > Court Round-Up
 
Hospital and doctor asked to pay Dh1.3m in damages

Staff Report / 11 November 2012

The parents of a child who was left brain damaged after an obstetricianís error during childbirth have been awarded Dh1.3 million in compensation.

The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s judgment and increased the amount of damages, ruling Dh50,000 must also go to the child’s mother for injuries she sustained during the delivery at the private hospital, while it also overturned the lower court finding which dismissed Dh50,000 compensation claim by the father for mental pain and suffering.

A medical report has found the child will need life-long intensive medical care.

Both the doctor and the hospital have been ordered to pay jointly.

Court documents show the child’s mother had been paying regular visits to the obstetrician, who stated in his medical report that the pregnancy was normal, and the baby’s health was good.

During delivery, normal safety measures were not taken and the baby’s health dramatically deteriorated as the baby’s blood pressure lowered, the documents said.

The obstetrician opted to pull the baby out using a vacuum device, which interfered with the oxygen flow to the baby, causing suffocation which led to the brain damage.

The baby was shifted to Mafraq hospital and placed in the intensive care unit for a period of time until being diagnosed with brain damage.

The parents lodged a complaint to the hospital management against the doctor in question who was penalised with a 30-day work suspension.

The parents then filed a civil case before the Abu Dhabi Civil Court against the doctor and the hospital, seeking Dh5 million in compensatory damage for the resulting harm of the mistake.

The court ordered the child, who was then three years old, to be referred to the higher medical liability committee at the Ministry of Health, to examine the baby’s condition. The child’s sight and hearing were said to be good, and the child is able to utter some words such as “mama” and “papa” but it could not comprehend more than that.

The medical committee found the child had some involuntary upper and lower limbs movement which was said to be ‘Spastic quadriplegia’.

The higher committee concluded that the child needs intensive medical care for as long as he is alive, and that is owing to medical negligence caused by the doctor who was supervising the childbirth, since he delayed in responding to the primary indicators that call for expediting delivery.

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