Ms Sarina Kaur, 51, is sueing the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and 2 of its doctors after she claims their negligence resulted in her losing her legs at the knees and both her hands.
According to court documents, Ms Kaur was a long time patient at the hospital since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about 25 years ago.
In 2008, doctors diagnosed her with vesico-ureteric reflux, which caused her urine to flow back from her bladder to her kidney. She also had recurrent urinary tract infections.
She was referred to Dr Ng Lay Guat, head of urology at SGH, where the doctor recommended a deflux procedure. Ms Kaur claims that Dr Ng had told her that the procedure was “simple, straightforward and low-risk.” The procedure was scheduled for 20 November 2012.
However, pre-admission test results on 17th November showed Ms Kaur’s urine had multi-resistant Escherichia Coli bacteria. Ms Kaur’s case is that Dr Ng should have treated the infection before doing the procedure, which could have been postponed.
Dr Ng went ahead with the surgery anyway, and ordered a daily dose of a broad-spectrum antibiotic for the patient instead.
On the very night of the procedure, Ms Kaur developed high fever, which the medical officer on duty, Dr Du Jingzeng, diagnosed as “likely sepsis” or blood poisoning. However, he failed to call in a more senior doctor.
The next morning, Dr Ng and her team did an ultrasound scan and found Ms Kaur’s right kidney was swollen.
The case is that the hospital did not, “in accordance with standard management” relieve the swelling and/or obstruction in the kidney, drain the infected urine, or effectively treat the infection.
Later in the day, Ms Kaur’s fever rocketed to 39.3 degrees celcius. By evening, she was in “severe septic shock” and was admitted to the intensive care unit. She soon “developed multiple and critical complications” including respiratory distress, multiorgan failure and gangrene in all four limbs.
She lost all four limbs to gangrene.
On Dec 1, both legs were cut off at the knee.
On Jan 7, 2013, both hands were amputated.
On Jan 31, the right forearm had to be cut off.
On Oct 11 and Dec 3, further treatment was needed to remove dead tissue on her left forearm stump.