Durban gynae denies negligence over baby’s severe deformities

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An Umhlanga-based gynaecologist has denied he was negligent when caring for a patient who gave birth to a baby who was severely deformed, reports The Mercury. Dr Hazmath Adbul is being sued by Neeren and Temeshini Ramsewak for trauma, distress, pain and suffering after their third child was born with severe deformities and died shortly after birth in 2016. The couple is seeking damages of R15m.

The report says in his plea filed in the Durban High Court, Abdul said he “duly executed all medical management with such care and skill as may reasonably be expected of a duly qualified specialist gynaecologist and obstetrician”.

According to the couple’s particulars of claim filed in court, Temeshini went to see Abdul in November 2015, after finding out she was pregnant. Blood tests were conducted to confirm the pregnancy. In February, Abdul advised Temeshini she had a smaller amount of amniotic fluid than usually present and needed further tests to ascertain the reason.
She was admitted to hospital and more tests were carried out.

Before she was due to be discharged, Temeshini was called to Abdul’s rooms where he informed her that despite the low levels of amniotic fluid, the baby was developing well.

The report says in court papers Temeshini said she was informed by Abdul that her baby’s lungs may not be fully developed at birth and would require ventilation, however it was not a cause for concern. She was told her baby would be smaller at birth but would grow normally soon thereafter. Temeshini was told to continue taking her medication and drink water.

For the next few visits, the couple were unable to find out the sex of their baby and were told their baby showed signs of spina bifida, a spinal deformation. However, Abdul told them it could be attended to once the baby was born. They were also told that an amnio-infusion would be needed.

The report says the Ramsewaks were referred to a foetal specialist who informed them that the baby’s kidneys were not functioning. The specialist informed them he could not assist them and when they enquired about the amnio-fusion, he told them it should have been done earlier in the pregnancy. Temeshini was then placed on a course of medication that included steroids and injections.

The report says in May 2016, Temeshini went into labour. She underwent a Caesarean section birth. According to court papers, the baby had a deformed face, one limb that was inverted, no sex organs, and was also struggling to breathe. The Ramsewaks maintain that they were told that their baby would have a chance at survival. The baby died within hours after being born.

The couple claims Abdul never informed them of any abnormalities during the pregnancy.

The report says in his plea, Abdul said in February 2016, he advised the couple that Temeshini should undergo a level 3 scan by a foetal specialist. He claimed they refused because it was expensive. Abdul said the Ramsewaks’ claim should be dismissed with costs.

The Mercury report

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