Dubai: The father of an Emirati woman who was left in a coma after a botched nose-job said the three medics responsible should have got longer than a year in prison, after learning of their sentence for negligence at a Dubai court on Wednesday.
Rawdha Al Maaeni, a 25-year-old first year masters student in hospital management, fell into a coma during a septoplasty at a Dubai day care surgery in April of last year.
The three medics first failed to notice that she had gone into cardiac arrest and then didn’t have the correct equipment to revive her.
Left without oxygen for seven minutes, she is now in a vegetative state.
A 59-year-old ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon, from the Dominican Republic, a 65-year-old anaesthetist and a 69-year-old technician, both from Syria, were all sentenced to one year in jail, followed by deportation while the centre was fined Dh300,000 on Wednesday.
After the sentencing, Rawdha’s father Abdullah Rashid Al Maaeni, said, “I wish it was harsher sentence to set these doctors as example for others. Not for my daughter’s sake only but for the sake of other families’ sons and daughters who may fall victims to similar incidents.
“I always feared the doctor would go scot free and with this judgement we know that surgeon will be in jail just like my daughter is imprisoned in her body. The team of doctors left her for hours on the operating table, when timely intervention could have revived her. As a result, she locked for life in bed, blind, paralysed and she can’t move her head. She requires oxgyen support round the clock and 24 hours nursing and care. All she can do is open her eyes and close them. She is no longer our lively, beautiful daughter, the Rawdha that we knew. Our family life has been destroyed and life will never be the same again for us. We only hope that the doctor does not get to appeal the judgement.”
Al Maeeni’s lawyer Eisa Bin Haider said, “I consider the court’s decision a victory and a testament to the judicial integrity of the UAE.
“We will remain in constant communication with the victims’ family, to provide assistance and consultation,” he added.
A civil case has now been filed against the three accused and the centre to claim compensation for damages.
- April 23, 2019: Rawdha Abdulla Al Maeeni checks into a day care surgery centre for a septoplasty. The surgery, which was to last two hours, stretches to six hours and the patient slips into a coma.
- April 23 evening: Patient is rushed to Prime Hospital where doctors attempt to revive her.
- April 24: Patient airlifted to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi where she remained in intensive care.
- June 20: Patient airlifted to a hospital in Chicago, US, for long-term treatment. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, offered to cover her medical expenses in the US.
- November 20: prosecution received final medical report
- January 2, 2020: Case referred to Dubai Criminal Court
- January 20, 2020: First hearing at Dubai Criminal Court.
- March 18,2020: Medical staff and the center found guilty at Dubai Criminal Court.