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By Ilse de Lange


Court orders gynae to pay R1.5m to mom, child

Dr RKT Larbi acknowledged his indebtedness to the mother after a botched birth, and undertook to pay off the amount over a period of time.

A Parktown gynaecologist has agreed to pay R1.5 million in damages to a Vosloorus mother and her daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy and mental retardation as a result of a series of disastrous mistakes before, during and after birth.

In terms of a settlement in the High Court in Pretoria, gynaecologist Dr RKT Larbi acknowledged his indebtedness to the mother and undertook to pay off the amount over a period of time.

The mother’s R23 million damages claim against Clinix Botshelong-Empilweni Private Hospital in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, where the child was born in 2005, will proceed at a later stage.

According to court papers, the then 29-year-old mother had blood in her urine and the foetus was already in distress, soon after she was admitted to the hospital.

Her doctor only arrived 45 minutes after being called twice, and more time was wasted while he and the nurses tried in vain to arrange a theatre for an emergency caesarean.

The emergency staff on call also couldn’t be reached and the mother eventually had to give birth naturally, despite her baby weighing more than 4kg.

The baby became stuck in the birth canal and another 10 minutes was wasted while the doctor tried to get her out.

The baby was lifeless at birth and needed resuscitation and ventilation before she was moved to the neonatal intensive care unit in a critical condition.

According to an expert report, the time which elapsed after the first recording of foetal distress and the fact that no paediatric doctor was called at the birth was unacceptable.

He said the doctor managed the labour without urgency, causing the baby to suffer serious damage to her brain, kidneys, lungs, and skin, because of a prolonged lack of oxygen.

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