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Woman sues hospital for loss of her newborn baby

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By MAUREEN KAKAH
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Six years ago, Gladys expected to get out of hospital with a bundle of joy when she checked herself in.

She did not anticipate going through a problematic delivery. However, what followed saw her give birth to a child with severe cerebral palsy.

Even though the wounds of her loss are still fresh, she has taken the dispute to the corridors of justice while seeking compensation for negligence from the Nairobi hospital and has sued the Kenya Hospital Association.

“Our instructions are that you breached duty of care you owed her resulting in the delayed delivery as well as subsequent damage to herself and her baby,” said her lawyers in the suit papers.

They added: “She holds you wholly responsible for the cervical tear she suffered as well as the severe cerebral palsy and subsequent death of the baby.”

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On the fateful day of February 28, 2013, at around 11am, Gladys went to the said hospital being her due date.

After being admitted and put under observation, midwives induced her at around 7pm. She went into labour at 1am but went to sleep until the next day when she gave birth.

On the delivery date, she told court that she woke up in pain and that a nurse who reported that morning had her taken to theatre for an emergency C-section after finding out that her baby’s heartbeat was low.

When the baby was removed, it failed to cry and looked dull.

However, doctors assured her that the baby was just in distress and that everything would be okay.

And while being stitched, she was still bleeding profusely and had to be given about seven pints of blood to regain consciousness.

Gladys was then transferred to the labour ward and informed that she had a cervical tear caused by the delivery process.

While recuperating, her baby was in the incubator being fed with tubes.

The baby had blues eyes several days later and difficulties pumping oxygen into her lungs and was taken to the ICU for four days.

The baby was diagnosed with pneumonia and scans revealed it’s brain was heavily damaged.

When Gladys was discharged on March 28, the baby could not suckle or cry and was immobile with no facial expressions.

An MRI test showed the baby would be vegetative. The baby could not get normal immunisation and died at 10 months.

While Gladys is accusing the hospital of mismanaging her, the association denied the claims against the hospital as well as liability.

“Any loss or damage suffered by the plaintiff was not occasioned by the defendant or its servants or agents, it is very unfortunate that the fatal outcome was poor however the hospital acted reasonably, in the circumstances nothing could have been done from what was done,” said the association.

High Court judge Cecilia Githua Tuesday gave the hospital more time to file responses to the case.





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