SINGAPORE – The family of a woman who is in a constant vegetative state after an operation to remove the brain tumor sued the National University Hospital (NUS) and the oldest neurosurgeon, demanding at least $ 2.5 million in damages.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Madame Goh Guan Sin, 68, of one of her daughters, argues that Dr. Yeo Tseng Tsai, who heads the department of neurosurgery at the NUS, and the hospital were negligent in treating and caring for her after her surgery.
On Wednesday (April 17th), in his opening statement on the first day of the High Court trial, Mr. Abraham Vergis, who works for Madame Gu, said: "All this case concerns the insane and cavalry attitude demonstrated by Dr. Yeo, the team of doctors and NUS. "
Madame Go, a housewife, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2014. She was advised by Dr. Ho Ho Chi Khan, a consultant in the NUS to remove the tumor.
Her operation was scheduled for June 2, 2014.
Mr Vergis said it was only on the day of surgery that the family found out that Dr. Yeo, who was watching for the first time, would work on it.
After an unreasonable operation, her condition worsened and CT scanning showed a large clumping clot.
Dr. Yeo and the two neurosurgeons who were in the team concluded that there is bleeding in the brainstem.
They decided not to remove clotted blood pressure. Instead, they introduced a shunt to drain the fluid that accumulated in the brain.
Madame Goh has been hospitalized in NUH ever since, and her family blames Dr. Yeo and the hospital for causing her to suffer irreversible brain damage.
Mr Vergis said the plaintiff would invite experts to testify that Dr. Yeo's conclusion that there is bleeding of the brainstem is the wrong diagnosis.
He criticized Dr. Eyo's decision not to remove clotted blood pressure and to choose a conservative treatment that, as he said, caused more damage to her.
He also claimed that Madame Go, who had already had fluid in her brain before surgery, was to be treated for this before the procedure for removing the tumor.
Mr Vergis also said it was "shocking" that Dr. Yeo was ready to work for a patient he met for the first time.
He claims that surgeons have the duty to personally examine the patient before surgery and to be around for complications after surgery.
Mr Vergis also claims that Madame Goh was not regularly monitored regularly after surgery.
Dr. Eho's lawyer, Lek Siang Pheng, lawyer, citing timing that took Madame Go's vital signs, argued that it was properly monitored.
He told the court that on May 22, 2014, Madam's case was presented to the Sunday's section of the department, and the consensus was that it was not necessary to drain the fluid in her brain before the tumor was removed.
It was Dr. Ho, who underwent cataract surgery three days before the operation of Madame Go, who asked Dr. Eyo to perform the operation, said Lek.
Mr Lek said that a meeting was scheduled for Madame Go, to see Dr. Yeo on May 27, but she did not show up.
He said Dr. Yeo was sympathetic, but he did not violate his obligation to take care of her.
Senior adviser Cuah Boon Teng, who represents the NUS, noted that public hospitals are working on a team-based system, in which advice and care can be given by various doctors.
On the complaint that Dr. Yeo first saw Madame Goch, she said the only other option was to cancel or reschedule the procedure.
Ms. Kuah noted that Dr. Yeo was the NUH's oldest surgeon to perform the surgery and he was supported by two committed surgeons.
She claims that, based on the plaintiff's claim that Dr. Yeo should follow Madame Goh after surgery, elderly surgeons will not be able to perform more than one surgery a day.
Madame Goh has suffered a bad outcome, which was disastrous for her family, said Ms Kuah, but this was not the result of carelessness by surgeons or hospital staff.
The defendants will call experts in neurosurgery, radiology and neuroradiology to make the case that the treatment and care for Madame Go is appropriate.