Wednesday April 23 2014

Hospital where woman died after operation lacked equipment - accused


KAMPALA- Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre in Bukoto where a fibroids operation turned fatal was underequipped for surgery, an anesthetist has revealed.

Mr Christopher Kirunda, jointly charged with the Fertility Centre director, Dr Tamale Ssali, revealed during cross examination in their defence that the facility lacked a resuscitating machine necessary to revive the patient in case of a cardiac arrest.

The suspects are charged with negligence that led to the death of Mercy Ayiru. They pleaded not guilty to these charges.

Appearing before Buganda Road Court chief magistrate Olive Kazaarwe, Mr Kirunda gave a sworn testimony while Dr Ssali rendered unsworn testimony. “I did the resuscitation manually, the operation room lacked a machine for that job,” he said.

The duos woes stem from an October 14, 2010 surgery that went wrong. Dr Ssali is accused of failing to supervise the anesthetist, Mr Kirunda. A postmortem report of the deceased indicated that the deceased died of cardiac arrest.

Their co-accused, Dr Rafique Parker, a Nairobi-based surgeon, who has never reported to court, faces additional charges of operating in Uganda without a licence.

Earlier, one of the chief prosecution witnesses, Dr Sylvester Onzivua, who conducted a postmortem on the deceased, told court the suspects negligence caused Ms Ayiru’s death because they reportedly inserted the anaesthesia tube into her throat instead of the trachea.

“We found bruising of the intestines and half a litre of blood in the stomach of the deceased and that was very abnormal. Our conclusion was that this death occurred as a result of the heart stopping, which is termed as cardiac arrest.

The deceased also had an acute inflammation of the stomach lining,” Dr Onzivua said.
The trial magistrate, Ms Kazaarwe adjourned the matter to June 12 for judgement.