Doctor fined Dh50,000 after error causes pregnant patient to lose baby

Medical practitioner, unaware woman had lupus, prescribed just paracetamol for her symptoms

UMM AL QUWAIN, UAE. December 15, 2014 - Stock photograph of hospital beds at Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital in Umm al Quwain, December 15, 2014. (Photos by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: Rezan Oueti, News)
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A doctor in Dubai has been convicted of medical malpractice and fined Dh50,000 after her failure to ask about a pregnant patient's medical history led to her losing her baby.

The woman, 31, from South Africa, was 32 weeks pregnant when she was taken to a private hospital in March 2016 complaining of heartburn, chest pain, and swelling in the face and body.

The doctor, 34, from Iraq, did not ask about the patient's medical history and instead prescribed paracetamol and discharged her.

“Two days after being discharged, my client’s condition deteriorated and she fell unconscious,” the woman's lawyer, Awatif Mohammed from Al Rowaad Advocates, said in court.

“She was found by the domestic helper who called an ambulance but it was too late and she delivered a stillborn baby due to what reports said was eclampsia and placental abruption.”

Ms Mohammed told judges that reports by a Dubai Health Authority committee of physicians confirmed that negligence and malpractice caused the woman to lose her baby.

“The report said the medical practitioner showed ignorance of technical aspects a practitioner should be familiar with,” said Ms Mohammed.

After losing her baby, the woman was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and Hellp syndrome, a pregnancy complication that affects the blood and liver.

“My client, a financial analyst, and her husband still suffer emotional, financial and physical damages due to such breach of duties.

“She resigned from a good paying job to focus on her pregnancy and when this incident happened the couple had to cover treatment costs for a condition my client suffered due to this malpractice.”

In January, Dubai Court of Misdemeanours found the defendant guilty of medical malpractice and issued a Dh50,0000 fine.

At the Court of Appeal last month, the physician was ordered to pay an extra Dh20,000 in blood money for the death of the baby.

The patient’s lawyer has filed a civil case seeking compensation for the emotional and physical damages her client suffered.

Updated: July 1st 2021, 2:06 PM