Woman sues for millions after op blunder

2011-05-12 07:23

An Eastern Cape woman is suing the state for R2.5 million after a medical swab the size of a hand towel was left to rot in her abdomen after an operation over a year ago.

Zoliswa Quvane (27), a street vendor, was admitted to Frere Hospital after being stabbed on April 1. A swab used to soak up her blood was left behind during the operation, The Times reported.

The pain was so bad she had to give up her job, losing the only source of income for herself and her two children.

A doctor at the same hospital found the source of Quvane’s pain after a year, following several hospital visits.

It is alleged in papers filed in the East London High Court last month that the head surgeon, identified as a Dr Santhia, performed the operation before stitching up the wound with the swab inside.

Quvane was discharged mid-April last year, but continued to “suffer immense pain”. Her belly was so swollen she could have easily been mistaken for a pregnant woman.

She consulted private doctors and specialists at Butterworth Hospital for help. She was referred back to Frere, where, on March 9, an x-ray revealed a “foreign object”. Two days later the swab was removed.

Quvane is suing Frere Hospital and the provincial health department for R2.5 million which includes R500 000 for general damage, R1 million for pain and suffering, R50 000 for loss of amenities of life, R250 000 for past and future medical costs and R236 000 for loss of past and future income.

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