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Man sues hospital over wife’s death after delivery

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Kunle Emmanuel
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Location: Lagos

Man sues hospital over wife’s death after delivery

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:24 am

A businessman, Mr. Semako Hunpe, has asked a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja to compel Prema Sai Hospital to pay him damages in the sum of N500m for alleged incompetence and negligence resulting in the death of his wife, Oluwafunke.

Hunpe, in a writ of summons before the court, alleged that Oluwafunke’s death on February 26, 2014 after being delivered of a baby girl, was due to professional misconduct and negligence on the part of the staff of the hospital.

In the suit marked Temp/84/87/2014, the claimant also alleged that due to the untidy delivery, the baby, Oluwasetemi, suffered “serious deep cuts on its back and buttocks” and “nine months after the scars are still palpable for anyone to see”.

Joined as the first and second defendants in the suit are Prema Sai Hospital and its Medical Director, Dr. M.B. Jayaram.

In his 27-paragraph statement of claim, Hunpe explained to the court that he had approached the hospital on February 17, 2014, to have his late wife, who was pregnant then, registered for ante-natal services.

According to him, on the night of February 24, which was six days later, at about 11pm, his wife started to notice pre-delivery signs, following which he took her to the hospital at about 8am on the following day.

“My wife was subsequently given admission and injections, sequel to which she was ordered to engage in the laborious (delivery) exercise for several hours without proper medical attention from available midwives and auxillary nurses.

“After several hours of intense labour, I was invited into the labour room wherein I was asked to encourage my wife to push the baby out as she appeared exhausted sequel to the prolonged hours of labour,” Hunpe said.

He alleged that when he arrived the labour room, he saw a nurse applying Aboniki (hot balm) onto his wife’s abdomen as she was being encouraged to push.

The claimant further alleged that no doctor, including the Medical Director of the hospital, was on ground during the entire period that his wife was in labour.

He said, “It was however after the pyrrhic delivery that one of the nurses went to call Dr. (Mrs.) M.B. Jayaram. And when she finally arrived, she asked me to leave the labour room and I did. But subsequently, I saw the nurses running helter-skelter, a situation which made me to ask one of them about the condition of my wife, to which she could not provide a satisfactory answer.

“After the delivery, my wife was profusely bleeding from the effect of unprofessional cuts on her by the nurses in the gamble to get the baby out of her by any means and I was told that my wife would need blood transfusion.

“To my surprise and utter chagrin, Dr. Jayaram told me at about 6.45pm on February 26 that I should call my pastor as she did not think that my wife could survive the event and she eventually told me that my wife was dead.

“Subsequently, they called one pastor to pray for the ressurection of my wife, which further exposed the incompetence, negligence and ineptitude of the hospital’s operational system as my wife could not be resuscitated to life.”

Hunpe accused the hospital of treating the baby with negligence. He alleged that when he was allowed to see the baby in company with two of his in-laws, it was wrapped in a hospital bed sheet rather than the towel that he had provided.

He said he met the baby crying and convulsing whereas the hospital staff, who showed them in, were allegedly playing games on their laptops and watching television.

Hunpe is seeking a declaration of the court that “the defendants were incompetent and negligent in the delivery process of Oluwasetemi Hunpe, the claimant’s baby, between February 25 and 26, 2014, which led to the death of his wife, Mrs. Oluwafunke Hunpe and the multiple wounds on the back of the baby and its attendant convulsion.”

The claimant wants the court to order the defendants to pay him the sum of N409,000 as specific damages, being what he spent as hospital bill and for the funeral arrangement of his wife.

Besides, the claimant also prayed the court to award a cost of N500m against the defendants in his favour as atonement for what he described as irreparable damages.

The matter has yet to be assigned to any judge.

Meanwhile, the defendants have said that the death of the claimant’s wife, which process started one hour, two minutes after childbirth, was not in any way due to any form of malpractice, incompetence or negligence on their part as claimed by the deceased’s husband.

According to them, the deceased died of “post-partum heamorrhage probably from amniotic fluid embolism or Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, a situation that is medically fatal all over the world”.

The defendants said, “She (the deceased) suddenly developed post-partum heamorrhage at about 19hrs with severe difficulty in breathing, pallor and severe hypotension…blood was taken for grouping and cross-matching with at least three units of fresh whole blood; oxygen was given intranasal and she was nursed as per the medical protocol. However before the arrival of the blood from the blood bank at about 19.45hrs she was cerified dead.”

While sympathising with the claimant over the loss of his wife, the defendants, however, denied liability to pay the claimants any damages.

The defendants, through their lawyer of J.O. Adanike & Co, described the claim for damages as “not only frivolous but a gold-digging one calculated to extort money from our client” and urged the claimant’s lawyer to advise the claimant to “pursue other avenues of making money honourably” rather than claiming N500m damages from the defendants.

This was contained in their reply dated April 7, 2014 to an earlier demand for damages from them by the claimant before he went ahead to file the lawsuit.

In the letter, the defendants explained that Hunpe’s late wife did not approach them for ante-natal services until February 17, 2014 by which time she was already “37 weeks into gestation,” adding that she was only registered with them under late ante-natal booking.

The defendants stated that they were guided by the position of the World Health Organisation’s technical working group on ante-natal care, adding that the deceased, who told them that she had previously been receiving ante-natal care at one Delta Crown Hospital in Ketu, ought not, ordinarily, to have been registered by them.

According to defendants, the deceased gave change of accomodation as the reason for switching from the previous hospital “with oral evidence but not substantiated with proof of compliance with the rules and regulations of a proper ante-natal registration of previous booking in a hospital.”

The defendants’ counsel said, “Thorough booking history as well as full medical examination were done on her on February 17, 2014. As a result of the unsatisfactory results coupled with proof of poor compliance with the rules and regulations of adequate ante-natal care up to the time of her registration with our client, she was professionally advised to do the appropriate and proper ante-natal booking requirement by our client, vis-a-vis undergoing all the required laboratory investigations and ultrasonography but she refused to comply, claiming she did same at her previous hospital. In fact, the only untrasonography done on February 25, 2014 was as a result of her complaint of labour against the expected delivery date of March 3, 2014 from the result of her previous ultrasonography done on September 19, 2013.”

The defendants further stated that contrary to the claimant’s claim that his wife was delivered through a caesarian operation, the deceased actually “delivered the baby via spontaneous vaginal delivery” after having been aided with oxytocin and bilateral episiotomy, which they said were parts of normal medical protocol in delivery.

The defendants maintained that the period of labour, which the claimant had claimed to be prolonged, did not exceed nine hours, “a situation which still fell within the medically approved hour for a primigravida (first pregnancy)”.

As to the cuts on the baby’s back and buttocks, the defendants said the baby, which they claimed to be asphyxiated, sustained the injuries during the process of resuscitating it.

“During the resuscitation of the baby, the baby suffered some bruises in the back and buttocks and not a serious deep cut or laceration as you (Hunpe) claimed. Some degrees of bruises are medically acceptable in the resuscitation of asphyxiated babies or a baby born with poor or bad APGAR score as in this case. Bruises are normally treated and they heal fast within the short possible time, most especially in the neonate as evidenced in this case,” the defendants maintained.

sourcehttp://www.punchng.com/feature/the-law-you/man ... -delivery/

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Re: Man sues hospital over wife’s death after delivery

Unread post by Christy » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:30 am

Lord have mercy on Nigerians who patronise unqualified medical personnel.

She developed postpartum hemorrhage PROBABLY from amniotic fluid embolism or disseminated intra......coagulopathy , a condition which is medically fatal'

There obviously is marked incompetence on the part of the hospital caregivers who claimed they shouldnt have registered her at 37weeks according to WHO guideline ? Incompetence also demonstrated by their statement that the gave a bilateral episiotomy , NOBODY COMPETENT DOCTOR OR NURSE PERFORMS BILATERALLY EPISIOTOMIES ANYMORE.

Well the defendants lawyer has done a "good job " by concocting all these diagnosis and melting them together, things up to him for his good effort at research.
It is obvious the delivery was handled by auxiliary nurses who have very shallow knowledge of obstetric care.
Unfortunate the death of the woman.

Patients and their relatives should ask the competence of the physician or nurse who will be providing care to their loved ones, it is within their rights to ask and have this information.

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