Friday, 19 July, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalE Cape Health guilty of medical negligence in R28m action

E Cape Health guilty of medical negligence in R28m action

The Eastern Cape High Court (Bhisho) has ruled that the provincial health department must pay damages for a child who was born with cerebral palsy as a result of what seems to be medical negligence at a Flagstaff hospital.

Daily Dispatch reports the mother of the child, born in February 2022, sued the department for more than R28m, alleging she was forced by nurses to mop up her own blood from the floor during a painful and prolonged labour at Holy Cross Hospital.

While she must still prove to the court the quantum of her damages – which would include the cost of lifelong specialised care of the child – Judge Nyameko Gqamana ruled that she had established that the hospital’s negligence caused her baby’s condition.

The absence of maternity case records from the hospital made it difficult to determine exactly when the brain injury occurred – before or during labour, Gqamana said. But, he said, the available evidence suggested it had happened intrapartum (during labour).

He found that had the nursing staff properly monitored the mother and her unborn baby they would probably have detected on the foetal distress in time and taken the necessary steps to address it.

“But because there was neither monitoring of the foetal condition nor an examination of the plaintiff, for a considerable period in excess of eight hours, the nurses missed the opportunity to pick up that the foetus was in distress and to act thereon.”

The report notes the woman will now be required to prove the value of her claim.

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Daily Dispatch PressReader article – Health department guilty of medical neglect, court finds (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Department to pay after lawyers' blunder in cerebral palsy appeal case


Court grants R16m and free medical care in Eastern Cape negligence case


Eastern Cape’s plan to turn tidal wave of negligence claims


Court furore over Eastern Cape attempt to stop medical negligence writs

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