x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Hearing-impaired girl wins ear surgery malpractice case

The family launched a lawsuit asking for Dh2 million in compensation for their financial losses, the pain their daughter endured, as well as the emotional devastation they suffered over an ear surgery malpractice case.

ABU DHABI // The civil court has ordered that a hearing-impaired girl and her family be paid Dh100,000 compensation over an ear-surgery malpractice case.

The court was told that the nine-year-old girl had been due to undergo cochlear implant surgery in both ears to restore her hearing.

After surgery, however, it was found that the doctor had put the electronic hearing aid only in her left ear.

The family launched a lawsuit asking for Dh2 million in compensation for their financial losses, the pain their daughter went through, delays in curing her hearing and speaking issues, as well as the emotional devastation they all suffered.

The girl had cochlear implants in her ears when she was two years old. But in 2011 the internal parts of the devices stopped functioning and she was examined by the same doctor named in the lawsuit.

In the subsequent surgery, however, it was discovered that he had only cut open then closed her right eardrum, without inserting the cochlear implant.

The case had been referred to a committee of medical experts, which found that the doctor had inserted the cochlear implant only in the left ear.

It also found that the doctor had not X-rayed the girl straight after the surgery to make sure the implants were inserted correctly.

Moreover, the technical unit at the hospital did not issue any reports about an X-ray that was conducted a day after the surgery.

The committee said the doctor was responsible for these oversights.

The civil court ruled that the doctor and the hospital should pay the father of the girl, as her official guardian, Dh90,000 for the physical and emotional pain she suffered.

The court dismissed the parents’ claim for financial losses because it was not proven that they had lost any money.

They were, however, awarded Dh5,000 each for the emotional pain that the medical blunder had caused them.

hdajani@thenational.ae