Dubai: The Higher Committee For Medical Liability in the UAE has issued its final report with regard to the suit filed on behalf of Rowda Almaeeni, a young Emirati woman who was the victim of medical malpractice during a minor procedure to correct a nose defect.
The negligence, adjudged to have been committed by the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and his assistant, led to the loss of Rowda’s mental and physical abilities, including loss of sight and hearing, rendering her fully disabled and in need of round-the-clock medical assistance and care.
Issuing a statement after the release of the Higher Committee’s report, Isa Bin Haider, Founder and CEO of Bin Haider Advocates & Legal Consultants, said: “It is clear that this must now be considered a criminal case of medical malpractice due to the negligence which occurred both before and during Rowda’s procedure. The medical facility was never an appropriate place for her operation as it does not have the equipment or resources to handle the procedure or the potential complications that did, unfortunately, occur in this case.”
There was a lack of professionalism shown by the anesthesiologist and his assistant during and after the procedure, especially when the patient’s heart stopped beating, and the actions of the anesthesiologist and his assistant did not reflect the gravity of the patient’s situation. Our firm will be pursuing this case as strongly as possible due to our legal, human and ethical obligations to ensure that this level of medical malpractice never occurs again,” he added.
The report was sent by the Higher Committee For Medical Liability to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and then to the Public Prosecution, who had originally referred the case to the committee after the initial report by DHA, clearing the surgeon of all responsibility, was appealed by Isa Bin Haider.
The final report concluded that the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and his assistant, committed critical errors that led to the tragic circumstances that Rowda Almaeeni is now suffering from; and that they, collectively, along with the medical facility in which the procedure took place, are fully responsible for what happened and her subsequent deterioration.
Rowda’s situation has provoked a strong public response and has had a significant emotional impact on the community in the UAE.
Rawdha Almeeni, 25, a first year master’s student of hospital management, had checked into a Dubai cosmetic surgery centre for a rhinoplasty on April 23 this year. She suffered a cardiac arrest on the operating table and the investigative report stated that her brain had been deprived of oxygen for a full seven minutes. A family spokesperson said the operating theatre had no certification for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support System (ACLS) and were unable to intervene which led to damage in several vital brain cells and the patient lapsed into a coma.
Following the case, DHA had announced the closure of the surgery centre until the case was settled. It barred the two doctors who conducted the surgeries — ENT surgeon, S.H., and anaesthesia specialist and medical director of the centre, S.D. — from practicing, on account of malpractice.