Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Dubai doctors involved in botched nose job to appear before court

Three medics will face charges of malpractice and negligence

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 sent an Emirati woman into a coma will face criminal charges at a Dubai court.

Rowdha Rashed, 25, visited First Med Day Surgery Centre in Dubai nine months ago to correct a deviated septum. Some time into what should have been a two-hour procedure, her doctors failed to detect a sudden drop in her blood pressure and she suffered a cardiac arrest. Her body was deprived of oxygen for seven minutes, causing her severe brain damage and she fell into a coma. Her family took her to the US for treatment, without success, and have since returned to the UAE.

On Thursday, the ENT (ears, nose, throat) surgeon, anaesthetist and assistant involved were each accused of "grave medical malpractice" and negligence for their part in the failed surgery on April 23 last year.

Dubai's Attorney General, Essam Al Humaidan, ordered the doctors be referred to the criminal court after the Higher Committee for Medical Liability in the UAE found them legally culpable for the botched procedure that left Ms Rashed with a permanent disability.

The final report, released in November, revealed that the doctors' negligence led to the loss of Ms Rashed's mental and physical abilities rendering her in need of round-the-clock medical care.

Dubai public prosecution on Thursday said the investigation, led by senior prosecutor and member of an investigation team for medical malpractice Younis Al Bloushi, lasted months and considered supplementary reports from Dubai Health Authority and testimonies.

“Investigations have shown that serious medical errors occurred during the surgery that caused the victim permanent disabilities,” the statement from prosecutors said.

“Investigations also proved the responsibility of the surgeon, anaesthetist, anaesthesia technician, and the one-day surgery centre where surgery was performed."

A date for the trial was not set but prosecutors recommended an "urgent trial session".

Ms Rashed, a first year master’s student, paid around Dh50,000 for the surgery.

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

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

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

“I told her that the money 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.”

The family's lawyer Isa bin Haider 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.

“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.”

Updated: January 2, 2020 08:31 PM

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