Two doctors have been found liable for damages in a civil case that was lodged by a city woman who suffered a stroke.
The Plaintiff in the matter, Loretta Mini, first showed symptoms of a stroke on April 17, 2007, but was not admitted to a hospital until three days later.
Judge Ashton Schippers handed down his judgment in the Western Cape High Court yesterday.
He found that the doctors, who were the defendants in the matter; ought to have referred Mini to a hospital or specialist physician. They were cited in the judgement only as Dr S. Chapeikin and Dr J. Sher.
According to the judgment , Mini was at work on April 17, 2007 , when she started feeling light – headed and later in the day , realised that she was typing ‘nonsense”.
When she got up, she had felt dizzy and walked “lopsided”. She had consulted that evening with Chapeiken, who had prescribed medication for her blood pressure, as well as for dizziness and anxiety.
He also booked her off work for hypertension and according to his evidence, told her to contact him should the symptoms persist or get worse.
Mini had testified that she felt worse the next day and went for a consultation with Sher, who concluded that Mini had suffered a mild stroke as she was able to carry out tasks such as walk, undress herself and provide a full history of her symptoms without any speech defect.
He had prescribed medication, booked her off work for two to three weeks and made an appointment for a follow –up consultation a few days later.
According to Mini’s testimony , her condition had deteriorated “sharply” the following day. Her right side had been totally lame. She had been admitted to hospital on April 20, 2007, after getting in touch with another doctor.
She had remained in hospital for several days and the following month, was admitted to a rehabilitation centre for physiotherapy, occupational therapy and counselling.
When it came to her work, however, she had been boarded because she “could no longer cope” or meet the requirements for her position.
Judge Schippers declared Sher and Chapeikin liable “as joint wrongdoers” for damages.
While Mini has sued for R922 638, the amount in damages is yet to be proved and determined.