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Bigger payout call after patient dies spending three years in a coma

Bahrain News
Tue, 17 Apr 2018
By Noor Zahra

A WOMAN has died after spending the past three years in a coma, prompting her family to increase their compensation demand.

Her relatives initially sought a BD70,000 payout, but have now upped their demand to more than BD100,000.

The 57-year-old Bahraini, whose name has not been made public, underwent a procedure at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) to remove “knots” from her thyroid gland.

The operation on February 5, 2015 was initially deemed a success, but she required further surgery the same night after suffering a swollen neck and a blood clot.

After that she never regained consciousness and lawyer Fatima Al Asfoor took up the case on behalf of the woman’s family last August, filing a complaint at the Public Prosecution against the Health Ministry and three doctors who performed the surgery.

Ms Al Asfoor initially filed a compensation claim seeking BD70,000 in damages at the High Civil Court, but told judges during a hearing yesterday that the family was now asking for in excess of BD100,000.

“It was tragic when the victim’s family learnt of her death on her hospital bed at SMC on Saturday,” Ms Al Asfoor told the GDN.

“They could not stop crying and I told the judge we are requesting a medical panel to review the medical reports of the victim.

“We are now requesting more than BD100,000 in compensation after the victim’s death.

“We are hoping that the medical panel will have different results from the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA).”

The victim’s family is pushing forward with the case based on a belief that the patient was a victim of medical negligence.

However, a medical inquiry ruled in March 2016 that there was no evidence of malpractice.

Last November the NHRA said the patient, who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, had failed to disclose before the procedure that she underwent a craniotomy in Saudi Arabia in 2009 to remove a brain tumour.

In addition, it said the woman had signed an authorisation paper for the operation to proceed, although her husband had refused to do so.

Ninety minutes into the second operation she fainted and had no pulse, but the NHRA said doctors revived her and continued the surgery.

Afterwards the NHRA confirmed a lack of beds meant she could not be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, but said she was taken to the “step-down unit” in a condition described as stable.

However, Ms Al Asfoor argues in her lawsuit that the patient suffered from a lack of oxygen to the brain during the second procedure as a result of action taken by doctors.

noorz@gdn.com.bh