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The New Arab

UAE surgeon jailed over botched nose job, which left Emirati woman with brain damage

A routine septoplasty left an Emirati woman in intensive care then airlifted to Chicago [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 March, 2020

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A surgeon, anaesthetist and assistant have been jailed for a year and then deported after being found responsible for a botched surgery which left an Emirati woman with brain damage.

A Dubai court has sentenced a surgeon to one year in prison and deportation after he was found guilty of leaving an Emirati woman permanently disabled after a routine nose operation went wrong.

The surgeon, as well as the anaesthetist and the anaesthetist's assistant were referred to Dubai's misdemeanours court after an initial investigation found them responsible for medical mistakes that allowed 25-year-old Rawdha Abdullah Al-Maeeni to fall into a coma and suffer brain damage.

All three were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment followed by deportation, while the medical facility was fined 300,000 dirhams (£68,000).

The prosecution said that the doctor carried out a septoplasty on Al-Maeeni to ease her breathing difficulties, but the one-day medical centre was not certified to perform the operation.

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The surgery, which took place in April 2019 and which was meant to last two hours, stretched to six hours and Al-Maeeni slipped into a coma and was airlifted to an intensive care unit in Abu Dhabi.

Two months later, Al-Maeeni was flown out to a hospital in Chicago, US, for long-term treatment. The crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Emirati Armed Forces, offered to cover her medical expenses in the US.

Dubai's public prosecution subsequently launched an investigation into the operation, checking the clinic's reports and questioning suspects and witnesses for months until a final medical report was produced by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in November, confirming that the medical staff were at fault.

The report added that Al-Maeeni went into cardiac arrest on the operating table, depriving her brain of oxygen for seven minutes and leaving her with multiple disabilities.

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