Dubai’s health regulator has ordered a clinic to stop all surgery after a procedure at the centre left a 24-year woman in a coma. The surgeon and anaesthesiologist involved in the case have been ordered to stop practising. There are allegations of malpractice and all licences are on hold.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is investigating the case of the Emirati woman, who fell into a coma after suffering brain damage during a routine nose surgery at the First Med Day Surgery Centre Dubai.
Initial investigations by DHA suggested malpractice by both the surgeon and the anaesthetist, who is also the centre’s medical director. Authorities detained one doctor as he was trying to leave the UAE.
The DHA’s regulation department warns that legal action will be taken against those who risk patients’ lives and has started legal proceedings against the two doctors.
The DHA stated that “the surgery was expected to last two hours, but stretched much longer after the patient suffered complications. The 24-year-old young Emirati fell into a coma due to dangerous complications that she suffered during a Septoplasty procedure.
The patient suffered from a severe drop in blood circulation and blood pressure. Oxygen also stopped reaching her brain, which caused her heart to stop for several minutes and put her into a deep coma, which she still did not wake up from. The patient was transferred to a specialised hospital to the intensive care unit. Investigation of the patient’s medical files and history also found that she did not suffer from any cardiovascular or vascular diseases prior to the surgery.”
According to the DHA, investigations have revealed medical negligence. The physicians did not adhere to the required medical procedures for surgical intervention prior to the surgery, such as conducting a thorough medical examination. The anaesthesiologist did not accurately document the patient’s clinical case during surgery. He did not document the patient’s vital signs while the level of oxygen dropped in the blood and when her heart stopped working. The anaesthesiologist also did not record the time he gave the patient the anaesthesia and did not write what the vital signs were prior to giving her the anaesthesia.
This caused confusion in managing the case once it started deteriorating during surgery. Essential medical records of the patient were not available when the patient was transferred from the clinic to Cleveland Hospital.
In a separate incident, the DHA is looking into a complaint filed by a Dubai expatriate whose Indian wife died during a hip replacement surgery at a private hospital in Dubai in May 2019. The DHA says: “The case is currently under investigation. The DHA looks into every single case of alleged negligence and/or malpractice stringently. Action is taken according to the merit of each case.” Al Zahra Hospital is conducting a multi-level independent review of the case as per its hospital policy, the DHA policy and the Joint Commission International patient safety rules.