Articles

Medical Negligence Leads to the Death of a Patient

By Habiba Wakio

Jane stood inside her little shop, staring outside through the small window. Only a handful of people had stopped by to purchase items. Among the few were the customers who took goods on credit. For those three weeks, she had made more credit sales than cash sales, with many of her customers promising to pay at the end of the month. She had ended up falling victim to a crippling cash flow crisis. The shelves in her shop had a few items, and she had no money to buy new stock. Her husband, who worked as a vendor in the market, had recently incurred a loss and was working on finding the money needed to make another purchase.

When Jane was done serving her last customer, her phone rang. It was her mother calling. She answered it immediately.

“Hello, mom. Is everything okay?” She asked worriedly.

Her mother informed her that her child had a fever. Jane’s heartbeat quickened.

“Please take her to the hospital. I’ll meet you there,” she told her mother, and she began closing her shop.

Minutes later, she arrived at the hospital and found her mother in the waiting area. Her chest squeezed, and her throat felt tight upon hearing her baby’s wails. She took her daughter in her arms and began rocking her. The baby’s breathing was rapid and shallow.

“Mom, why hasn’t the doctor checked her yet? She’s burning up.”

“The nurse told me that they do not work at night,” her mother said. “I don’t know what to do.”

“What do you mean, they don’t work at night? They are supposed to work for twenty-four hours.”

“The nurse said that they were a few.”

“Does that mean my daughter won’t be treated?”

A nurse passed by. Jane stopped her.

“Nurse, please help my daughter,” she pleaded. “I need to see a doctor.”

“Am sorry. There is no doctor around. We don’t work at night. Go seek help elsewhere.”

“My daughter has a high fever, and she is breathing so fast,” she informed the nurse, then turned to her mother. “Mom, please talk to her.”

“Nurse, my granddaughter is very ill. Please do something,” Jane’s mother said.

“Just wait over there,” the nurse said, pointing towards the bench, then left.

Jane paced up and down. A half-hour passed. No help came. Jane’s daughter fell silent.

“Mom, she has stopped breathing.” Tears streamed down Jane’s face. “My daughter is not breathing.”

A clinical officer saw Jane crying and approached her.

“Hello. Have you received any help?” He asked.

“No,” replied Jane. “Please check what’s wrong with my baby.”

“Follow me.”

A few minutes later, Jane received the bad news. Her daughter was no more. It was too late for oxygen therapy. The kind man could not save her. Jane cried so hard. She vowed to file a lawsuit against the hospital.

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