Woman left with burns after medical blunder during caesarean section

Medical records showed the woman's burns were caused by the doctor's negligence while using a surgical cauterisation device, which caused burns and skin issues that left the patient with deformities and a 10 per cent disability.

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ABU DHABI // A woman has been awarded Dh60,000 in compensation after a medical error during a caesarean section left her with burns to her leg.

The incident happened in July 2010 at Abu Dhabi’s NMC Specialty Hospital while the woman was giving birth to twins.

The Civil Appeals Court has now rejected an appeal by the hospital and doctor responsible.

Court medical reports showed that the woman’s burns were caused by the doctor’s negligence and irresponsibility while using a surgical cauterisation device.

This caused burns and skin issues that left her with a deformity and 10 per cent disability.

The Court of Misdemeanours previously convicted both the hospital and the doctor and referred the case to the Civil Court to decide on compensation.

In March this year they were ordered to pay Dh60,000 as compensation for physical and moral damage, court fees and Dh200,000 for lawyers’ fees.

Both appealed and asked the court to reject the case, or else to assign a medical expert to look into the percentage of deformity caused and how permanent it is.

They also asked for the compensation to be cut in half as they claimed the accuser increased the damage done by not following medical instructions following the incident.

They presented documents from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi that showed the woman refused to undergo plastic surgery that was recommended by the hospital to fix the burns. Therefore, they claimed, she contributed directly to the damage caused.

The court rejected the argument and ruled that when medical responsibility is identified the court looks at the initial action that caused the damage and not at events that followed.

It also rejected the request for a medical expert to look again at the damage done, saying that it must use the initial assessment given when the case first went to trial.

The court rejected the appeal and upheld the ruling.

hdajani@thenational.ae