10 August 2010
Woman sues two GP’s for medical negligence
A 57 year old Plumstead woman is suing two general practitioners for R922 000 in the Western Cape High Court, claiming they failed to refer her for specialist care when she consulted them about a weakness on the right side of her body. Today, Lorette Mini suffers from hemiplegia (loss of motor function on one side of the body). However, both doctors have denied they acted negligently towards her.
In court papers Mini consulted a GP in Lansdowne on April 17, 2007, after experiencing dizziness and weakness on the right side of her body. She said he noted she had e history of hypertension, recorded her blood pressure and did blood test, before prescribing medication. The following day she approached another GP in Claremont. Mini said he noticed her blood pressure was raised, and her right hand and leg were weak. He made a diagnosis of hypertension and a mild stroke.
He prescribed medication and advised her to return for a follow-up examination. However Mini’s symptoms had worsened and she was admitted to Western Cape Rehabilitation centre. She was confined to a wheelchair and was unable to return to her job as a legal secretary until July in the following year.
Mini now suffers from hemiplegia and can’t concentrate. Her ability to process information has been advisedly affected and she says her ability to multi-task was affected. She has claimed both doctors failed to carry out a comprehensive three stage assessment or elicit a family history of cardio-vascular disease.
Nor she alleges, did either doctor elicit a family history of strokes. She says they should have had her admitted to hospital or referred her for a specialist care and she is claiming damage for loss of earnings, medical expenses and general damage. Both doctors have denied the allegations.
The Lansdowne GP said in responding that he found her diovascular system to be normal, and diagnosed her as suffering from poorly controlled hypertension. He advised her to have a cholesterol test, prescribed her medication, and told her to have her blood pressure checked after five days. He advised her to return if her symptoms persisted or worsened.
The Claremont GP said in papers that Mini told her the weakness in her right hand had improved. He denied he had acted negligently, or had breached his duty of care. Both doctors denied it was necessary at the time to refer her to a hospital or specialist.