Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Three medical staff declared legally responsible for Emirati's botched nose job

Rowdha Rashed went into a coma in April after undergoing what should have been a routine minor surgery at First Med Day Surgery Centre in Dubai

First Med Day Surgery Centre Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National
First Med Day Surgery Centre Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

Three doctors involved in a routine nose surgery, that led to an Emirati woman falling into a coma, were found legally culpable for the botched procedure.

A surgeon, anaesthetist and assistant who worked at First Med Day Surgery Centre in Dubai were each accused of negligence for their part in the failed surgery on April 23.

A previous report from Dubai Health Authority's Higher Commission for Medical Responsibility had cleared the three men but the woman's lawyer appealed and, on Wednesday, the decision was reversed to conclude the men and the medical centre were medically liable.

“We rejected the first report which found the surgeon not at fault and that he did not commit a grave error,” said Eissa bin Haidar, the lawyer representing Rowdha Rashed, 25.

“Our plea to re-evaluate was met with approval as the final report found all three to collectively bear full responsibility for what happened and what will happen to Rowdha. The medical centre also bears part of the responsibility.”

Abdullah Rashed Almaeeni, 50, has filed a medical malpractice case against First Med Day Surgery Centre in Dubai, where his daughter fell into a coma during routine nose surgery. Bin Haider Advocates & Legal Consultants
Abdullah Rashed Almaeeni, 50, has filed a medical malpractice case against First Med Day Surgery Centre in Dubai, where his daughter fell into a coma during routine nose surgery. Bin Haider Advocates & Legal Consultants

Seven months ago, Ms Rashed, a first year master’s student, went into surgery at the centre in Dubai to correct a deviated septum. During what is typically a two-hour surgery, she suffered a cardiac arrest and her brain was deprived of oxygen for seven minutes. This caused her severe brain damage and Ms Rashed fell into a coma. The family then took her be treated in the US.

Immediately after the incident, DHA announced the closure of the centre until the case is settled. The surgeon, identified by the initials SH, and anaesthetist, SE, were also barred from practising medicine.

Patient's father, Abdullah Rashed, previously told The National that he had a bad feeling in his gut the day of the surgery.

“I told her that the money [Dh50,000] didn’t matter and that we should just leave,” he said.

“All we pray for is for her to respond to us. Her eyes will flutter and then she closes them again she does not respond to anything.”

Mr bin Haider said the medical team’s negligence and lack of appropriate action during the surgery led to the loss of Ms Rashed's mental, cognitive and physical abilities, along with all her visual and auditory senses.

“Her condition requires permanent medical assistance, follow-up and nursing care around the clock.

“This incident is a full-fledged criminal case that resulted from a set of unacceptable mistakes and practices. It’s clearly a case of negligence during and after the operation.”

He said the centre was not an appropriate place to carry out the surgery because it was inadequately equipped for the procedure and did not meet professional medical standards.

“The place wasn’t also prepared to effectively respond to complications that may occur to the patient during or after the operation.

“Also the anaesthesiologist and his assistant failed to follow the most basic rules and medical norms during the procedure,” the lawyer said.

The final report has been submitted to Dubai’s public prosecution so the case can be heard in court.

“Our office will vigorously represent this case, out of our legal, humanitarian and ethical commitment and also to ensure that such incidents do not happen again in the future,” Mr bin Haider said.

Updated: November 20, 2019 05:44 PM

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