A 51-year-old Indian-origin Singapore woman has filed a lawsuit against a hospital here and its doctors, claiming 8.72 million Singaporean dollars in damages after complications from a urological procedure caused amputation of her limbs.
Sarina Kaur has accused the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and two of its doctors of going ahead with the procedure to treat recurrent urinary tract infection, even though she had tested positive for a type of bacteria. She is suing them for about 8.72 million Singaporean dollars to cover costs, including the loss of future earnings and prostheses, media reports said on Saturday.
Ms. Kaur has multiple sclerosis and has been receiving treatment at SGH since 1979. She was admitted to SGH on November 20, 2012 for the procedure.
After the procedure, she developed fever and low blood pressure. Ms. Kaur later went into septic shock and her limbs turned gangrenous. She had her legs amputated at the knees in December, 2012, and lost her forearms in January, 2013.
Thread buried in wound
Ms. Kaur also underwent three more procedures to remove "thread buried in the wound" at the amputation site on her left arm.
She "suffered numerous surgeries and pain following the urological procedure when bacteria from the bladder spread and led to septicaemic shock," according to a medical report provided by her lawyer Jenson Lee.
Domestic help for assistance
The report also noted that she now has to rely on her domestic helper "to do the simplest of things", including answering her phone calls.
Responding to media queries, SGH said that Ms. Kaur's condition "could have possibly been the result of her multiple underlying conditions."
"At all times, our doctor had her best interests in mind when the clinical decision was made to proceed with the procedure under suitable antibiotic cover," said Prof London Lucien Ooi, chairman of the Division of Surgery at SGH.
We sought to minimise risks: Hospital
The hospital added that her urine culture test results before the procedure did not "preclude the decision to continue with the procedure," and that appropriate steps were taken to minimise the risk of complications.
"In Ms. Kaur's case, the urine culture had identified the particular bacterium, and a treating dose of antibiotic which the bacterium was sensitive to was prescribed to cover any possible infection," Channel News Asia quoted Prof. Ooi as saying.
"Her well-being remains our priority, and we are committed to providing her with continued appropriate care," he added.
The pre-trial hearing is scheduled for January 7, 2016.