Doc denies he was negligent
The Star, 4th November 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: The abdominal liposuction performed on diabetic Nik Rosemawati Nik Mohammed could not have caused or contributed to her deteriorating condition which led to her death five years ago, the High Court heard.
Plastic surgeon Dr George Varughese told the court that the liposuction procedure on June 21, 2004, had gone on “uneventfully” and was completed successfully, before the patient suffered a cardiac arrest minutes later.
Dr Varughese, a defendant in the case, said Nik Rosemawati was then resuscitated, and transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) in Gleneagles Medical Centre. Her condition continued to deteriorate and she died two days later without regaining consciousness.
“I have done thousands of liposuctions. The first thing I tell my patients is that they could die from the procedure, and then I tell them all the risks. But liposuction does not cause cardiac arrest,” he said, denying that he had failed in his duty or that he had conducted the procedure negligently.
Nik Rosemawati’s husband Matthew Scott Oakley had filed the suit in 2006 against Dr Varughese, the proprietor of a clinic in Bangsar, and freelance anaesthetist consultant Dr Raja Kumar Rajendram, claiming that they had been negligent while treating his wife.
In his statement of claim, Oakley – who is seeking RM520,431 in damages for loss and suffering – said a post-mortem revealed that his wife suffered from extensive internal haemorrhaging.
Universiti Malaya anaesthesiology and critical care Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Alex Delilkan said based on documents, he thought that the infiltrations during the procedure could have pierced through the patient’s peritoneum affecting her blood pressure.
“This caused her to have irregular heart rhythms, which resulted in the cardiac arrest,” he told the court.
The hearing before Judicial Commissions Harminder Singh Dhaliwal continues today.