Father blames medical negligence after fever treatment leaves daughter deaf

The father of seven year-old Aishath Iyan claims his daughter lost her hearing after she was prescribed an overdose of antibiotics for a fever at Thinadhoo Regional Hospital in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Ahmed Ihsan is demanding law makers institute laws governing medical negligence, currently lacking in the Maldives, after remedial treatment for his daughter “cost me my business and life savings.”

“On July 14 in 2007 I went to Thinadhoo Regional Hospital to get treatment for my three year-old daughter, on advice from my island’s health centre. She was in the centre for three days with a fever and the doctors observed that her left hand was swelling, and recommended Thinadhoo Hospital,” said Ihsan.

“As soon as we reached the hospital, the doctor said I had to admit my daughter immediately.”

The doctor first administered an injection medicine to try and reduce the swelling, however it did not work. The doctor then said Aishath would have to undergo a hand operation.

“The same day the doctor prescribed two dose of 80 milligrams of Gentamicin (an antibiotic used to treat many types of bacterial infections) and the same evening another two 80 milligram doses of Gentamicin, and a fifth 80 milligram dose the next day,” Ihsan said. “The hospital operated on her three times, and discovered no internal infection.”

Gentamicin is a vestibulotoxin, and can cause permanent loss of equilibrioception, caused by damage to the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear, usually if taken at high doses or for prolonged periods of time.

Ihsan said he had no clue that his then-three year-old daughter was counting her last days that she would ever hear her father’s voice in her life.

“It was July 19 2007, and she asked me what was plugged into her ears. She said she could not hear anything,” Ihsan said. “So the doctor cleaned her ear, but unfortunately it did not do her ears any good, and the condition was same.”

Ihsan said he then took his daughter to Male’ to visit an ear, nose and throat specialist to try and determine the cause of her deafness.

“He advised me to go abroad as soon as possible, so I went to India. The doctors there said her hearing was lost permanently and recommended the only treatment which was ‘Choclear Implantation’,” he said. “I came back to Maldives and asked the ENT specialist to examine the case and to determine the cause.”

The specialist then examined the case very thoroughly and said the cause of her deafness was an overdose of Genamicin, Ihsan said.

“The doctor said Gentamicin should be given only after measuing the weight of the person, and the doctor at Thinadhoo hospital did not check my daughter’s weight or height,” he claimed.

He said he had spent Rf 7,119,100 (US$554,000) on his daughter’s treatment so far.

“I lost my business and all the money I saved,” he said.

“I have been struggling to recover the amount of money I spent for the treatment of my daughter. It was a medical fault – she was taken to hospital to treat a normal fever,” Ihsan explained. “The Civil Court ruled that there was no capacity to it to rule that the lost money should be paid by the state.”

“People should really be aware of faults in the medical system. There should be a way that people can make the doctors stand trial and get their money back,” Ihsan said, adding that he was by no means an isolated case.

Ihsan explained that many of the people have suffered in similar situations like him and said there was no way to get their return.


17 thoughts on “Father blames medical negligence after fever treatment leaves daughter deaf”

  1. Medical malpractice is very common in Maldives. There are no laws that protect the patient. Even the data on medical negligence is not collected. Just like Maldivians trust religious people, they have blind trust in doctors.

  2. A negligence law would be totally useless in the current situation..it would do nothing but increase the overall cost of health care....problem is that the government is reluctant to invest in training medical personnel including doctors.

  3. maldives needs negligence laws...agreed! but then in this case, Gentamycin, a relatively safe drug...only affects a very small number of patients...in this case, there is no negligence. its a sad event, but the doctor cannot be blamed for this as patients and their parents need to understand every drug has some rare complications.and i feel really sorry it had to be your daughter...
    Maldives can have any number of laws...but first and foremost its people needs to be educated and made aware of simple things as these.

  4. The government has to pay the full amount at least for Ihsaan. It's a real case and specially the Thinadhoo Regional Hospital Staff are the most careless and rude staff at all.

  5. People are given useless medicines to boot the sales of the hospital pharmacy. Useless X-rays are taken, usleless IV is given and naive people are are admitted to increase sales. This is not hearsay..

  6. This obviously is a problem on the doctor's side. Doctors even with mere MBBS's should know about side effects of common antibiotics such as Gentamicin. Moreover, they should pay more attention when it comes to treating or subscribing any form or kind of medicine to a minor. As stated, the dose should be given according to age, wt and ht! The body that provides temporary or permananat liscences to medical personnel ought to pay more attention on the details apart from the certificate submitted stating that the person holds a degree in medicine or surgery. This is not the first time such things have happened.

  7. Dear Minivan news,

    I believe the correct spelling is "CoCHlear Implantation" - the current typo makes it seem like some kind of high-calorie cereal.

    Also there's an "r" missing in the word "measuring" (13th paragraph).


  8. Why the picture of IGMH? Would we need a law to prevent such irrelevant and potentially dangerous picture associations!!

    Thank you for your concern. The image has been changed to avoid confusion. -Minivan News team

  9. I feel sorry that this has happened.

    This happened in 2007? Why do we hear of this now, three years later? Is the doctor still there to be questioned? Who was he?

    Was it an overdose (I am not a doctor, I don't know)?

  10. This is seriously not new to the Maldives. I remember going to ADK once, they hooked me onto a nebulizer, and forgot that I even entered the hospital 5 minutes later. We had to search for the nurses. But I believe this man deserves justice!

    Way to go 😛

  11. it is sad but this things happen 1 in 1000cases doctors are not god nobody in the whole world will give garantee that anything will happen in medicine all is not perfect doctors try not to make mistake but unknowlingly it happenes it is very sad here in maldives we even dont have a basic forensic medicine

  12. Worst is kn0wing half of somthing rather than not knowing at all! Ppl come and demand for xrays and iv fluids in male'. If doc refuses then they verbaly abuse, or physicaly abuse the doctor. V are living in a very ignorant society ful of roanu edhuru! Al ppl trust themslvs!

  13. some time it is side effect of antibiotic but not a doctors mistake/before say blablabla try to make medical expertise
    even during surgery patiens die but it is not only because mistake of the doctors
    remember every things depend from how is critical situation of the patients and time when they visit doctors/some time it is too late do do enithing or if
    the infection has developed strongly and patient go to a doctor too late then there may be some heavy side effects from atibiotic

  14. minivan news has deliberately left out the fact that the doctor/hospital was found NOT to have been negligent in the case filed in the civil court of maldives against the health ministry. a number of medical experts gave testimony that the antibiotic gentamicine was given in accordance with international practices, the proper dose was given under the proper circumstances, and that loss of hearing from this antibiotic is an extremely rare side effect. the court ruled that the doctor acted properly and that the fact that an extremely rare side effect materialised does not make the doctor negligent.

  15. Interesting Post
    Negligence is not the same as ‘carelessness’. Medical negligence can be defined as conduct that falls short of what a reasonable person would do to protect another individual from foreseeable risks of harm.
    There are several tests to the law which must all be proven.
    To prove medical negligence has taken place, it is necessary to show the health care provider fell below the standard of reasonable competency in that field of medicine.
    Doctor mistake compensation claim


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