alexa MCA sues for Sh6m over baby's death at Consolata Hospital - Daily Nation

MCA sues for Sh6m over baby's death at Consolata Hospital

Sunday June 23 2019

Consolata Hospital Mathari in Nyeri

A file photo of the entrance to Consolata Hospital, Mathari, in Nyeri County. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Nominated Nyeri MCA Beth Nyawira Kimali has filed a suit over alleged medical negligence by doctors at Consolata Hospital, Mathari, blaming them for the death of her unborn baby in 2013.

Ms Nyawira, a member of Jubilee Party, wants Sh6 million in compensation for the death of the baby boy on October 23 that year, following an emergency caesarean section.

Documents filed at the Nyeri magistrate's court indicate that the Registered Trustees Archdiocese of Nyeri is the defendant.

The hospital is sponsored by the Catholic Church.

THE CLAIM

Ms Nyawira says she sought antenatal care at the hospital from June 13 to October 17, 2013.

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On October 22, she says, she got admitted for a procedure that was to take place the following day on the advice of medical personnel.

An emergency operation was, however, carried out before the scheduled time.

Through lawyer Charles King’ori, Ms Nyawira alleges that medics were negligent so she ended up with a still birth and serious gynaecological problems.

The politician says the medical staff administered the service without due care and regard for her safety and that of the unborn child.

“[They] failed to exercise adequate care so to avoid injury to the plaintiff or the unborn child," the court documents say.

DAMAGES

Mr King'ori says the patient suffered damages and holds the hospital both directly and vicariously liable.

He cites loss of the child and the psychological social and emotional distress Ms Nyawira suffered.

“Owing to what befell me at the defendant’s hospital, I have been unable to bear children due to the resultant complications," the politician says in the documents.

"This has caused me untold anguish and distress socially and in my marriage. I am at the prime of my child bearing age."

She further notes "untold emotional and psychological distress" and that the medical personnel did not perform the operation to the best of their skills and knowledge.

MEDICAL BOARD

Ms Nyawira says that before taking court action, she lodged a complaint with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, which formed committee chaired by Dr David Truman Kiima to look into the matter

The board reviewed the complaint and found there was a delay in diagnosing an emergency and that this resulted in the death of the baby and put the mother’s life at risk.

It ordered the hospital to undertake mediation with the complainant with a view to compensating her.

“The defendant is to ensure it has prominently displayed standard operating procedures in obstetrics and gynaecology within the facility. [It is also to] ensure medical personnel working in the facility undergo continuous professional development in obstetrics,” the board said in orders issued on March 11, 2016.

The hospital said it referred the matter to the diocesan legal office for execution, but Ms Nyawira said lack of compensation forced her to seek redress in court.

HOSPITAL'S DEFENCE

In defence of the hospital, Medical Director Japheth Muriithi Mbae and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Kanyi Muriithi, through lawyer Gitonga Muthee, denied claims of medical negligence, insisting proper procedures were followed.

Dr Mbae, who has been a doctor for 18 years in services including maternity, said the turn of events could only be said to be the normal course of nature.

The doctor said Ms Nyawira was admitted for an elective caesarian section.

He noted that she had a similar operation in 2009 occasion by a prolonged labour.

“To that effect, we advised her to be admitted a day before the operation. On operation, a still birth [was the case]. This was not as a result of any medical negligence by staff,” he said.

DOCTORS' REPORT

The report by doctors who performed the operation say they found a tight cord around the child's neck.

“Unfortunately and without signs, the patient went into labour while being prepared for the operation, prompting the emergency caesarian before the slated time," Dr Mbae says.

"This, from a medical point of view, is what could have exposed the unborn child to the distress that culminated into the still birth,” he explains in the documents.

He adds that the allegations of negligence and injuries suffered by the patient cannot be true since doctors did everything they were supposed to.

The case will be mentioned on September 24, when the court will confirm whether lawyers for both parties have filed their lists of issues.