x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Man was left crippled, court hears

Patient who was seeking treatment for infection was given large doses of cortisone steroids which left him crippled. He is suing two Abu Dhabi hospitals for negligence.

ABU DHABI // A man who was left crippled after allegedly being given the wrong dose of steroids is suing two Abu Dhabi hospitals for negligence.

The Civil Court of First Instance heard that MSA, 31, an Arab, went to a private hospital on October 18, 2009 with flu-like symptoms.

An X-ray showed he had a chest infection. He was admitted for two weeks until November 2 and treated with cortisone, a steroid often used as an anti-inflammatory.

"Its treatment should not take more than three days with rest," said his lawyer, Sulaiman Al Minhali. "So why did he need to stay under 24-hour special hospital care from October 18 to November 2 - two weeks, with no improvement."

Mr Al Minhali said his client's condition worsened by the day.

On November 2 he was transferred to a public hospital, which reported that the move followed an improvement in his condition.

But the patient said he was told he was going there only for tests which, when done on November 4, found no internal problems.

Mr Al Minhali asked why that test had not been done until two days after his client had been admitted.

On November 15 he was tested again and the results showed his condition was deteriorating, the court heard. It was unclear if he was still being treated with cortisone.

On December 31, his condition worsened.

Mr Al Minhali claimed the long course and high dose of cortisone led to severe weakening of his client's bones, to the extent that he must now use crutches. "He is semi-disabled at the age of 31," said Mr Al Minhali in court papers.

Tests conducted later at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre found the severe pain in his thighs was due to large doses of medication, including cortisone, records show.

Mr Al Minhali said the hospitals, through negligence and human error, had ruined a man in the prime of his life, whose plans to marry had been affected by his disability.

The patient plans to attend a future hearing so the judges can see his condition. He is claiming all past and future medical expenses arising from alleged maltreatment, and morale and health injuries.

The hospitals have yet to present their response to the allegations.

The court's medical liability committee will consider the case before the next hearing, for which no date has been set.