Woman Sues 37 Hospital For Professional Negligence

A woman who was delivered of a baby through Caesarean section at the 37 Military Hospital has sued the hospital for professional negligence, saying a doctor left a surgical needle in her stomach after the operation.

Madam Victoria Kwaning, a mother of four, who has sued for GH¢500,000 in damages, has accused the doctor of “reckless disregard for his professional obligation”, making her to suffer severe medical complications and loss of business.

Joined in the suit are the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Defence.

Case for plaintiff

In her statement of claim, the plaintiff, who is now unemployed, said on August 4, 2010 she gave birth through Caesarean section at the hospital, but just after the delivery, she started experiencing severe pains in her lower abdomen.

With the pains becoming unbearable for her, it said, she started making complaints to everybody at the hospital that she had developed some complications resulting from the Caesarean section.

Following the persistent complaints, hospital personnel were made to detain her for three weeks at the hospital to enable them to establish the cause of the problem.

According to the statement, 10 months after the plaintiff had been discharged from the hospital, her condition worsened and she was rushed back to the facility.

“Personnel of the hospital instructed one Dr Samuel Asiamah to run a scan on the plaintiff to ascertain the cause of the severity of the pain.

“Results of the scan revealed that the medical doctor who had performed the Caesarean section had left a sickle-shaped metallic foreign body, which can best be described as a ‘surgical needle’, in plaintiff’s stomach or lower abdomen,” it said.

It said following the revelation, the hospital instructed another doctor by name Dr Asmano to undertake another surgery to remove the surgical needle.

On the basis of those developments, the statement contended that “officers of the hospital acted negligently and without due care and attention by leaving the surgical needle in her abdomen when they conducted the Caesarean section on her”.
Particulars of negligence

It said the doctor who first conducted the surgical operation should have known that he had the duty to provide professional services for the patient.

But, quite strangely, it said, the doctor chose to negligently breach his professional duties.

“The plaintiff says although the said object was removed 10 months after she was discharged by the hospital, she had since suffered multiple health challenges, including persistent dizziness, general weakness, severe abdominal pains, severe bleeding resulting from the second surgery, among others,“ it stated.

The statement said as a result of the negligence of the hospital, she had been unable to continue her buying and selling business to take care of her four children, three of whom are in school.