High Court awards GHS1,075,000 against 37 Military hospital over medical negligence


An Accra High Court has awarded an amount of 1, 075,000 cedis against the 37 Military Hospital for medical negligence that led to the death a 27-year-old pregnant woman.

The court in its judgement stated that circumstances that led to the death of Helena Brema Nyamekye, a PhD Student of the University of Ghana whose husband is a retired military officer were avoidable.

The plaintiffs, the father of the deceased and the husband a Retired Captain of the Ghana Armed Forces, in the suit indicated they opted for a cesarean section as a mode of delivery but the doctors refused to carry out the request. The doctors, however, took her through normal delivery causing her to bleed profusely leading to her death.

This also affected the baby who suffered a deformity in the right arm. However, the defendant in its case said the father of the deceased opted for a virginal delivery and it was in the case of delivery that the plaintiff sent a text message for CS.

The defendant further argued that the time the request was made for the CS was too late but according to the court, evidence showed that the request was made in the morning of November 11, 2015, hours before the delivery was carried out.

The presiding judge, Justice Kwaku Tawiah Ackaa-Boafo, in his opinion said, virtually all the doctors agreed the death was preventable but did not suggest any solution.

He pointed out that, he found it difficult to understand that “no plausible or reasonable explanation was given to the court by the doctors why the CS requested was not conducted.”

He stressed, “many of the decisions made by the hospital were wrong.”

He added Helena Brema Nyamekye would have been alive if the doctors had taken the necessary measures in carrying out their duties.

The defence witnesses, Justice Ackaa-Boafo, said were not truthful to the court on matters leading to the death of Helena Nyamekye.

All the doctors he said, “failed to take personal responsibility and it was unacceptable.”

The court also found out that, “there was no doctor or house officer to review the process and so no proper monitoring was done on the deceased.”

“It became very clear that she was not properly monitored of what she was going through until she gave birth and later bled to death.” The judge added.

The court said the hospital owed the deceased and the plaintiff duty of care and whatever happened suggests that a clear case of negligence has been established

The deceased he said lost a lot of blood after delivery. “It cannot be disputed that the deceased lost over 1.5 litres of blood.” He said.

The judgment of the court stressed, “no proper plan was put in place to monitor her.”

No blood was available according to the court for transfusion and even after a request was made at the theatre, the blood was not used.

“She was not properly monitored and by not making blood available was reckless and negligent and unacceptable not to use the blood available.” The court stressed.

Justice Ackaa-Boafo advised that doctors and specialists should take a relook at how mothers lose their lives needlessly and put in measures to prevent avoidable deaths.

The plaintiffs sought three reliefs these are; damages for loss of life, damages of trauma and negligence and general damages.


By Godfred Tanam|3news.com|Ghana

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