Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital sued for allegedly leaving abdominal pack in patient’s body


Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospitals has been sued in the High Court for allegedly leaving an abdominal pack consisting of surgical bandage in a woman’s abdomen during caesarean section.

Idah Lungu sued Zambia’s second highest health institution claiming K1.4 million, among other damages, for the negligent conduct which almost ended her life.

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In statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Lungu said on January 3, 2023, she delivered through C-section,a health baby boy and was later discharged.

However, six months later, she started experiencing severe pain and sought medical attention at a local private clinic where she was treated for Gastritis.

But in October, the same year, she developed severe diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pains and was subsequently treated for typhoid at a private clinic.

“However, despite the plaintiff’s treatment of the said Typhoid, her condition continued to deteriorate with the plaintiff eventually experiencing regular syncope’s and numbness in the legs which resulted in difficulty in walking,” she said.

In December, 2023, Lungu sought for medical help at Maina Soko Military Hospital where a CT scan showed a ‘ linear radio dense material within the left abdomen flank region, surrounded by a thick rim-enhancing wall like structure with gas and solid material measuring approximately 44mm by 89 mm’ suggestive of a Gossypiboma (foreign material).

“On December 3, 2023, the said surgery was conducted by Maina Soko personnel who found an abdominal pack consisting of surgical bandage (Gossypiboma) embedded within the plaintiffs abdomen which had negligently been left in her abdomen during the C-section in January of 2023,” she said.

She stated that the surgery was successful as the said foreign object was removed.

Lungu has submitted that Levy Mwanawasa Hospitals was negligent and failed to ensure that all external materials placed in her abdomen and used during the C-section procedure were removed afterwards.

She contended the hospital breached Section 60 of the Health Professions Act.24 of 2009 of the laws of Zambia for breach of the medical code of ethics prohibiting the neglect and disregard by health professionals of their professional responsibilities to patients under their care and treatment.

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