Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

Father calls for tougher malpractice laws after daughter left permanently disabled by botched nose surgery

Rowdha Almaeeni suffered brain damage following minor procedure

Abdullah Rashed has called for tougher penalties for malpractice after his daughter suffered brain damage after undergoing routine surgery. Courtesy: Bin Haider Advocates & Legal Consultants
Abdullah Rashed has called for tougher penalties for malpractice after his daughter suffered brain damage after undergoing routine surgery. Courtesy: Bin Haider Advocates & Legal Consultants

The father of an Emirati woman left with severe disabilities following routine nose surgery has called for tougher laws on medical malpractice.

Abdullah Rashed, 51, said he will pursue civil action after Dubai Cassation Court upheld a decision to jail three doctors for one year each for their role in the botched operation in April last year.

His daughter Rowdha Almaeeni, now 26, suffered a cardiac arrest and severe brain damage after doctors failed to detect her blood pressure was dropping during the procedure to correct a deviated septum.

She now needs constant medical care.

“When I walked into the operation room, my daughter was shaking and dying while three doctors did nothing but look at her,” Mr Rashed said.

I see my daughter dying every day and its not only for her but for others who may fall victims to such errors, I request that punishments are strengthened and laws are changed

Abdullah Rashed

“How could a doctor who has taken an oath allow a grave error like this to happen?

“Her room has been turned into a hospital room with all the medical equipment needed for her condition.”

The defendants, a 59-year-old surgeon, from the Dominican Republic, an anaesthetist, 65, and a technician, 69, were convicted of malpractice.

First Med Day Surgery Centre in Deira, where they worked, was fined Dh300,000.

Ms Almaeeni spent months in hospital in the US before returning to the Emirates.

“She spent four more months in a specialist rehabilitation centre in Abu Dhabi with no changes to her condition,” her father said.

“Sometimes she would scream from pain due to stiffness. A device has been attached to her waist to ease the stiffness and reduce the pain.”

Unsatisfied with the court’s verdict, Mr Rashed confirmed the family will launch a civil lawsuit.

“I’m not happy with the sentence but what can I say? This is the law,” he said.

“I see my daughter dying every day and it’s not only for her but for others who may fall victims to such errors. I request that punishments are strengthened and laws are changed.

“Dozens, including doctors, have taken to social media calling for a change in malpractice law, after the sentence became final.”

The doctors and the technician will be deported after serving their prison terms.

Updated: September 30, 2020 11:35 AM

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