The High Court in Accra (General Jurisdiction 6) presided over by Justice Kweku Tawiah Ackaah-Boafo has awarded damages in the sum of over GHc1m against the 37 Military Hospital for maternal negligence.
Helena Brema Nyamekye, a 27-year-old PhD Student is said to have bled profusely and died shortly after labour in 2015 when doctors rejected a request from the husband for her to deliver through Cesarean Section.
The husband and the father of the deceased following her death dragged the Hospital to court for damages for loss of life, trauma and negligence of duty.
The baby which was the subject matter of the labour has also suffered a deformity to the right arm.
Justice Ackaah-Boafo, after examing the merit of the case before him and the evidence adduced by parties held that the death of the deceased was preventable.
The court awarded a damage cost of 400, 000 each to the father, and husband (Captain Nyamekye) of the deceased for loss of expectations of life.
The court also awarded damages of GH¢100,000 for pain and suffering, GH¢ 50,000 for Disfigurement and Disability, GH¢50,000 for Primary care-giving expenses and medication and GH¢25,000.00 as costs to the Plaintiffs against the Defendants.
The total cost of damages awarded against the hospital for negligence is GHc1, 075, 000.
The court said, looking at the age of the deceased 27 and her knowledge of expertise, she would have been beneficial to the country and the family.
According to the court, the event leading to the death of the deceased was unacceptable and if care is not taken there would be more of such deaths.
The court said, the first plaintiff is the father of the deceased and second plaintiff is the husband (Captain Nyamekye) and a military officer.
The Deceased before her death was a PhD Student at University of Ghana, Legon.
The plaintiffs say that they opted for Cesarean Section as her mode of delivery but the doctors refused and put her through vaginal delivery.
The deceased bled profusely at the theatre and died after giving birth.
The court said two doctors who were crucial to this case Major Dr Agyare Gyan and one Dr Amofa all gave contradictory accounts and did not give any reason why the request was not carried out.
It was the opinion of the court that there was “no air of reality” from the evidence adduced by the defendant because Dr Agyare “evidence was contradictory”
The court said the defendant’s counsel failed to address the issue as to why the Cesarean section as per the request was not carried out by the doctors.
Justice Ackah-Boafo’s court held that “no plausible or reasonable explanation was given to the court by the doctors why the requested was not conducted.”
The court also held that there was no doctor or house officer to review the process and so no proper monitoring was done on the deceased when she was in the hospital.
The court said, per the testimonies of one Cop Naa Shioa Odoi, a staff of the hospital, “it became very clear that the deceased was not properly monitored” until she gave birth and later bled to death.
Loss of blood
The deceased the court said lost over 1.5 litre of blood, since “no proper plan was put in place to monitor her even though they knew” her situation.
Justice Ackaah-Boafo in his judgment said the medical team did not give proper care to the deceased.
The court said, the pathologist who carried the examination gave a report to indicate that, the direct cause of death was due to the hospital’s negligence.
To this end, the court said, the hospital staff have no reason or justifiable reason not to carry out the Cesarean section.
The deceased the court held was not properly monitored and by not making blood available acted recklessly and negligence and unacceptable
The 37 Military Hospital hospital was therefore liable for the negligence of the death of the deceased.