MALPRACTICE SURGERY CLAIM IN MALAYSIA - DUTY OF CARE AND FOUR ELEMENTS OF NEGLIGENCE
MARCH 6, 2019 @5.51 PM
On April 21, 2017, the nation was taken by storm of news reports of 56-year-old Pertemahwadi, who filed a civil claim at the High Court registry against the government as well as a hospital for RM20mil in general and aggravated damages and RM223,487 in special damages for negligence which she claimed resulted in the loss of her breast.
In her claim, the housewife said she was advised to undergo a heart bypass surgery when she sought treatment at the hospital on January 22, 2016. Subsequently, the bypass surgery was performed the following month on February 16 by the hospital’s specialist.
She was discharged nine days later, despite complaining to the specialist that the wound on her chest was beginning to open up. She also said that the specialist failed to advise her on the potential consequences of the bypass, especially in view of her diabetic condition and the weight of her breast.
In her statement of claim, she said that she was not given antibiotics although she was prescribed medication in addition to being advised to seek post-operative treatment at a health clinic.
On February 27, 2016, the attending doctor advised her to return to the hospital upon finding an open 5cm wound with infection on her left breast. Subsequently, she was admitted and had to undergo another surgery to remove the infected part of her left breast. This, however, was futile as the infection had spread to the entire breast which again had to be removed in a second surgical procedure.