October 26, 2020
By: Lamia ElKholy
An Egyptian woman obtained a final ruling from the Court of Cassation to get half a million Egyptian pounds for losing her uterus due to a serious medical negligence committed by the doctor who delivered her only child 23 years ago. Mrs. L.A. was twenty-five years old when she gave birth to her first child in what she described as a “forced labor” when Doctor O.A induced her labor without a medical need in her private hospital, because the doctor’s travel plans coincided with the expected date of birth. She was given drugs to stimulate childbirth for more than 48 hours, which caused her to have an extended tear and severe hemorrhage, and she lost her uterus as a result and almost lost her life and the life of her newborn.
The case continued since 1997, in its legal stages, until the Egyptian Court of Cassation confirmed the ruling that the doctor committed a serious professional medical error that legalizes the right for compensation. In the civil case, which was based on the ruling of the criminal case, Mrs. L.A. demanded that the doctor compensates her for this grave medical negligence which had prevented her from having children, in addition to the psychological and physical impact she had suffered; and based on the coroner’s report and the testimony of witnesses, the court ruled for a compensation of half a million Egyptian pounds.
Mrs. L.A. said: “I was confident that the Egyptian judiciary would do justice to me even after years because I have the right to claim justice and the facts condemned the doctor who caused the loss of the uterus. I was young, and she told me that she does not wait a day after the due date she sets for giving birth and that it is necessary to go to the hospital the next day or the delay would pose a risk to my baby, so I trusted her, and my body did not respond to the stimuli that she gave me, so she kept increasing the doses for two days while she could have let me go home, it was obvious I was not in labor although the contractions were strong, but instead she opened the water bag around My baby after 24 hours of giving me painful induction and the cervix has not yet expanded, it was 1cm and she left my baby for more than 12 hours afterwards without the protection of the fluid that protects the fetus from the violent uterine contractions.
It was necessary to have a cesarean section at this point, which indicates the failure of induction of labor, but she continued to stimulate childbirth until I began to bleed when my baby’s head pushed to pass and the cervix was not wide enough, then she pulled the baby despite of the tear under anesthesia and under severe pressure on my stomach from her assistant. It was a real miracle that my baby and I survived this aggressive experience. Then, due to severe complications, she sent me again to the operation room, because the bleeding didn’t stop as she did not stitch the cervical wound when she extracted the uterus and ovaries, which required me to enter the operation room for the third time on the same day, and there were no blood units of my blood type in her hospital, which is the least precaution a doctor would secure, and this also caused a delay in saving my uterus. There are too many painful details, including contamination of the cervical wound and a high temperature lasting for two months! I can’t sum this up, but I can’t forget its cruelty, and the recovery period lasted close to a year. “
“What really worries me is the cases that are subjected to the same pressures for childbirth for “doctors’ convenience” in order to organize the doctor’s schedule, which requires women to undergo periods of prolonged induction of labor.”
“women delivering babies for the first time should receive adequate awareness of what’s right and what’s wrong and since my child’s birth and I worn those who regard what happened to me as an individual case, but these practices such as the unnecessary induction of labor cause death, complications and performing cesarean section on a large scale during childbirth, it’s almost like no one delivers naturally any more.”
Regarding compensation she said: “I have not yet received the compensation, but the ruling has become final in July 2020 after too many court sessions and I started the legal process to claim it. The date has been set for the last week of this month. I hope that it will be completed with no further delays. But I am very happy with receiving justice and the end of a long wait after constant procrastination on the part of the doctor’s defense team for 23 years, which is the age of my son! I understand that it was for the sake of protecting her reputation, but what really worries me is the cases that are subjected to the same pressures for childbirth for “doctors’ convenience” in order to organize the doctor’s schedule, which requires women to undergo periods of prolonged induction of labor, and it’s known medically that they lead to cesarean surgeries and complications, the least of which is the damage of the baby’s respiratory system due to the constant pressure of the uterine muscles causing the baby to defecate, and contaminate the water that protects him.
The polluted water would cause a blockage in the lungs, and a drop in oxygen. This leads to putting the baby in an incubator with early medications until he regains his health, with a high possibility of brain cells getting affected by the lack of oxygen, a tragedy that won’t be discovered until years after birth when the child’s cognitive ability does not develop normally – I hope that the Doctors’ Syndicate pays attention to such violations and that there will be real control over malpractices. The most important thing for me before the amount of the money and its value is that women delivering babies for the first time should receive adequate awareness of what’s right and what’s wrong and since my child’s birth and I worn those who regard what happened to me as an individual case, but these practices such as the unnecessary induction of labor cause death, complications and performing cesarean section on a large scale during childbirth, it’s almost like no one delivers naturally any more.
I chose a well known doctor thinking she was trustworthy, but if I knew before going that induction is not supposed to be used with giving birth to first babies and that it should support natural delivery within 6-12 hours maximum I think I would have waited till I had the normal signs of labour, which I told my doctor initially and she talked me out of it. Unfortunately I went in with basic to zero knowledge.’’
This case raises questions about the number of women affected by medical malpractice during childbirth, especially the birth of firstborns, as the use of induction of labor to stimulate childbirth without need is the highest cost ever and achieves the most financial gains for the hospital with a process that involves staying before birth to receive stimuli. It is scientifically proven that this practice leads to a rate of more than 50% of cases conversion of a normal birth into a cesarean delivery, in addition to the subsequent recovery period for the mother and the newborn, and therefore it is seen as the best way to achieve the highest profits for Obstetrics and Gynecology doctors and hospitals at the expense of lives.
***If you liked this article, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and receive our articles by email.