13 July 2018

Liberia: Alleged Medical Malpractice Risks Baby's Amputation

Monrovia — A month old baby boy, born at the Redemption Hospital on Saturday, June 9, risks being amputated as a result of an alleged medical malpractice by staff of the hospital.

According to the father of the infant, Mr. Mustapha Sesay, after his fiancée Aminata Doubuyah, gave birth, a nurse on the ward, tied a plastic glove on one of the child's legs to administer a medication in its vein. Sesay further stated that the nurse didn't find the vein on the child's leg and so moved to its head where he found the vein and administered the medication, but forgot to untie the glove for three days, hence causing it to swell and became colorized.

"On June 10, my woman called the nurses' attentions to the child's foot and told them that it had started to swell and was changing color to blue, but the nurses ignored her and left the plastic glove still tied around the baby's leg. On the third day when the child's leg completely changed color to green, it was when the nurses untied the baby's leg and saw that it was useless," said Sesay.

Sesay further explained to the media that when Redemption authority knew that they couldn't handle the situation, on June 22, the baby and its mother were transferred to the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital. He further indicated when doctors at JFK Medical Hospital examined the child's leg, he was told the drug had damaged the child's foot and it could only be saved through amputation, so they were to sign a form for the amputation of the child's foot.

"I asked them what kind of drugs that was injected into my child's foot that had caused it to be swollen. I asked them for my child's medical report to know the actual reason for which they wanted to cut my son's foot, but they refused to tell or give me the report," he narrated.

The child's father contacted his lawyer, who called on authorities of both hospitals for a conference to explain the reason of the baby's amputation.

In a letter dated July 5, 2018 to JFK and the Redemption, from the Sesay and Johnson Associates Law Chambers, cited both hospitals to a conference and asked them to bring their medical records to the meeting, to find a way forward:

Dear Sir/Madam:

We represent the legal interests of Mr. Mustapha Sesay and his wife, Amanita Doubuyah, the parents of a two-week-old baby, who was given birth to at the Redemption Hospital on June, 9, 2018.

We have been credibly informed by our client that on June 9th 2018 a baby boy who was born at your facility, doctors and nurses in the maternity ward, while in the process of administering an injection on the baby foot due to reasons not explained to the mother, Amanita Doubuyah, tied the leg of the one-day-old baby with a plastic gloves, in search of a vein to administer the injection.

The doctors on duty wrongly discharged the drugs into the foot of the baby instead of the veins and upon the discharged of the drugs from the syringe, maintained the leg tied, realizing the error committed by him.

On June 22, 2018, the baby and mother were transferred to the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital, without any medical explanation to the parents of the minor child. And upon viewing the child's leg, doctors told the parents that the drug had damaged the child's foot and could only be amputated, so they were to sign a form for the amputation of the child's foot, for which our client refused and demanded that they must first be given the medical record from the Redemption Hospital referring the child for amputation and the reasons for said amputation.

However, this paper was told by the law office that only JFK Hospital turned out for the conference and told the law office that it was not in the position to give out the medical report of its referrer patient to the lawyer, but it was the Redemption Hospital duty to give such report. The law office said that JFK Hospital's representative further explained that it was only trying to save the child's life by amputating the affected foot, before the infection spreads and leads to the killing of the child.

Sesay's lawyers maintained that they need the medical report to seek a second opinion from outside Liberia. Recent photo of the baby's foot shows that the entire foot has turned black while the place the plastic gloves was tied, has gotten infested and swollen with pus.

The father of the child told this newspaper that when they went to request the medical report from the Redemption hospital, they were kept for over three hour thirty minutes and they weren't given the report.

Lusene V. Sesay, uncle of baby, disclosed that they have already spoken to a doctor in Saudi Arabia, whom Lusene said, has asked them for the child's medical report to see if he can save the child's leg.

He added: "After keeping us for over three hours, they told us that the person who had it was not at the Hospital at the moment."

"Yesterday, I visited the Redemption Hospital along with my brother Mustapha Sesay, to ask them for my nephew's medical report. Dr. Wesseh, the medical Director of Redemption Hospital, refused to give us the report. He was very arrogant towards us and said he was under no obligation to give us the medical report nor any explanations. Therefore, we are very disappointed. We will take this matter to court in order to save the life of the minor," threatened Lusene.

When FPA called the administrator of the Redemption Hospital, he said he was in a meeting and asked our reporter to call back after an hour. A call was placed to him again and after several attempts he sent a text message saying he could not speak. He asked that our reporter send a text, which was done but still didn't give any response up to press time Wednesday.

As it stands, Cllr. Alhaji S. A. Sesay, disclosed that the infant is undergoing pain that is too much for such a young child.

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