A high court judge has found the South West Re¬≠gion¬≠al Health Au¬≠thor¬≠i¬≠ty (SWRHA) guilty of med¬≠ical neg¬≠li¬≠gence in the death of 30-year-old Navin Singh.
In a rul¬≠ing on Fri¬≠day at the San Fer¬≠nan¬≠do Supreme Court, Jus¬≠tice Ava¬≠son Quin¬≠lan-Williams found the man was mis¬≠di¬≠ag¬≠nosed and that doc¬≠tors at the Princes Town Health cen¬≠tre did not car¬≠ry out suf¬≠fi¬≠cient tests which would have shown that Singh had a flesh-eat¬≠ing bug and not sci¬≠a¬≠tia.
Singh died less than 48 hours af¬≠ter he was twice mis¬≠di¬≠ag¬≠nosed by doc¬≠tors at the Princes Town Health cen¬≠tre when he was ac¬≠tu¬≠al¬≠ly dy¬≠ing from the flesh-eat¬≠ing bug virus necro¬≠tiz¬≠ing fasci¬≠itis.
Af¬≠ter the rul¬≠ing, the man‚Äôs moth¬≠er Bhag¬≠wan¬≠tee Singh-Weekes, who filed the law¬≠suit was more than pleased with the out¬≠come.
‚ÄúWe got jus¬≠tice. I can‚Äôt get back my child but I get to un¬≠der¬≠stand what took place with him and what hap¬≠pened,‚ÄĚ said Singh-Weekes in a tele¬≠phone in¬≠ter¬≠view yes¬≠ter¬≠day.
The court heard that back in 2014, Singh‚Äôs moth¬≠er Bhag¬≠wan¬≠tee from Ga¬≠jad¬≠har Lands, Princes Town, took him to the health cen¬≠tre be¬≠cause he had se¬≠vere pain in his right knee and was vom¬≠it¬≠ing.
He was at¬≠tend¬≠ed to by Dr Shane Karim who made a di¬≠ag¬≠no¬≠sis of sci¬≠at¬≠i¬≠ca and pre¬≠scribed tra¬≠madol, gravol and zan¬≠tac.
Singh‚Äôs con¬≠di¬≠tion de¬≠te¬≠ri¬≠o¬≠rat¬≠ed re¬≠sult¬≠ing in him be¬≠ing un¬≠able to walk or move. He was tak¬≠en back to the Princes Town health cen¬≠tre and at¬≠tend¬≠ed to by Dr Bene¬≠dict, who pre¬≠scribed the same med¬≠ica¬≠tion as the one be¬≠fore and again sent him home.
Nei¬≠ther doc¬≠tor at the health cen¬≠tre per¬≠formed blood tests or any fur¬≠ther test¬≠ing on Singh.
Two days lat¬≠er the 30-year-old re¬≠turned to the health cen¬≠tre and was im¬≠me¬≠di¬≠ate¬≠ly re¬≠ferred to the San Fer¬≠nan¬≠do Gen¬≠er¬≠al Hos¬≠pi¬≠tal be¬≠cause of his crit¬≠i¬≠cal con¬≠di¬≠tion. At the hos¬≠pi¬≠tal, he was di¬≠ag¬≠nosed with the flesh-eat¬≠ing bug Necro¬≠tis¬≠ing Fasci¬≠itis. Navin suc¬≠cumbed to his in¬≠juries and died at the hos¬≠pi¬≠tal the fol¬≠low¬≠ing day.
Dur¬≠ing the court pro¬≠ceed¬≠ings, renowned in¬≠ter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al ex¬≠pert Dr David May¬≠er As¬≠so¬≠ciate Pro¬≠fes¬≠sor of Clin¬≠i¬≠cal Surgery from New York Med¬≠ical Col¬≠lege tes¬≠ti¬≠fied as an ex¬≠pert wit¬≠ness via video link.
Dr May¬≠er said that the med¬≠ical treat¬≠ment of Navin was neg¬≠li¬≠gent and de¬≠fi¬≠cient and the doc¬≠tors failed to per¬≠form ba¬≠sic blood tests that could have alert¬≠ed them that there was a bac¬≠te¬≠r¬≠i¬≠al in¬≠fec¬≠tion which would have led to an ear¬≠ly di¬≠ag¬≠no¬≠sis of Necro¬≠tis¬≠ing Fasci¬≠itis.
Pro¬≠fes¬≠sor Vi¬≠jay Narayns¬≠ingh al¬≠so tes¬≠ti¬≠fied on be¬≠half of the Health Au¬≠thor¬≠i¬≠ty, to the ef¬≠fect that had an ear¬≠li¬≠er di¬≠ag¬≠no¬≠sis been made, prop¬≠er treat¬≠ment could have been ad¬≠min¬≠is¬≠tered that would have saved Navin‚Äôs life.
Jus¬≠tice Quin¬≠lan-Williams, al¬≠so found that Dr Bene¬≠dict was not a cred¬≠i¬≠ble wit¬≠ness.
She then found the SWRHA li¬≠able for dam¬≠ages in med¬≠ical neg¬≠li¬≠gence and in¬≠di¬≠cat¬≠ed the court would pro¬≠ceed to as¬≠sess the com¬≠pen¬≠sa¬≠tion to be paid at a lat¬≠er date.
Singh‚Äôs moth¬≠er, Bhag¬≠wan¬≠tee was rep¬≠re¬≠sent¬≠ed by Anand Ram¬≠lo¬≠gan SC, Jared Ja¬≠groo and in¬≠struct¬≠ed by Dr Che` Din¬≠di¬≠al of Free¬≠dom Law Cham¬≠bers. The Health Au¬≠thor¬≠i¬≠ty was rep¬≠re¬≠sent¬≠ed by Vi¬≠jai De¬≠onar¬≠ine, Maris¬≠sa Ram¬≠sun¬≠da in¬≠struct¬≠ed by Krys¬≠tal Kaw¬≠al.
Thank¬≠ing her at¬≠tor¬≠neys and fam¬≠i¬≠ly for their sup¬≠port, Weekes-Singh said, ‚ÄúThe five years of strug¬≠gle was not easy. Thank God every¬≠thing work out. It was re¬≠al¬≠ly re¬≠al¬≠ly tough.‚ÄĚ She said every one in the fam¬≠i¬≠ly had put their lives on hold as they fought this le¬≠gal bat¬≠tle.
‚ÄúHon¬≠est¬≠ly every¬≠day you get up and you have to try to live with this on your mind.‚ÄĚ She said her son was a welder and was en¬≠gaged to be mar¬≠ried the fol¬≠low¬≠ing year be¬≠fore he died.
The moth¬≠er called for an in¬≠de¬≠pen¬≠dent body com¬≠pris¬≠ing med¬≠ical ex¬≠perts and pro¬≠fes¬≠sion¬≠als to be set up to deal with claims of med¬≠ical neg¬≠li¬≠gence at the pub¬≠lic hos¬≠pi¬≠tals. ‚ÄúImag¬≠ine, the doc¬≠tors here were telling me that they did every¬≠thing for my child and they did not do noth¬≠ing.‚ÄĚ
By:¬†Sascha Wilson & Melissa Williams-Sambrano