Saudi Arabia

SR 5 million in damages sought

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Saturday 8 June 2013;

The Shariah Health Commission in Asir has ordered a private hospital to pay SR 150,000 in compensation for causing Lana Ahmad Al-Wadi to go blind three years ago when she was a newborn baby.

The girl was administered a high dose of oxygen, which damaged her eyesight when she was at the hospital’s nursery for more than 34 days in 2010. Her oxygen intake was not monitored.

The father said he had spent twice the amount of the compensation over the past three years to attend hearings. “I demand SR 5 million to have her treated abroad.”

Al-Wadi said he traveled throughout the Kingdom consulting several doctors and all of them advised him to take Lana to an American advanced eye center as soon as possible. Lana’s brother, Muhammad, 8, also has a disability from the same error. He was also given a high dose of oxygen at birth while at a private hospital’s nursery.

Al-Wadi said he “will not accept this unjust verdict” and would approach the Court of Appeal and all the right bodies “to have justice delivered.”

Lana has a twin sister. They were born in June 2010 at a private hospital where they were referred by Abha General Hospital because no beds were available.
The girls were examined by an eye specialist after they were discharged from the hospital nursery. The father said that he was told by King Khaled Hospital’s doctors that an eye examination at the nursery could have helped mitigate the damage significantly.

Doctors at the nursery did not check the baby’s eyes owing to a malfunction in their machines. “Doctors at King Khaled Eye Hospital in Riyadh said that she needs a surgical procedure and may recover her eyesight.”

They said there was a retinal artery occlusion that was caused by the excess oxygen Lana was given at the nursery. He said this was agreed upon by most of the doctors he consulted. Al-Wadi’s financial condition has prevented him from hiring a lawyer to follow up on his demands for compensation.

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