A 41-year-old Francistown man, Joseph Masogo, is suing Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital for negligence and demanding P300 000 in compensation.
The case is before Francistown High Court Judge, Barnabas Nyamadzabo.
In his testimony on Monday, Masogo told the court that he went to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital sometime in July 2010 after his arm became swollen and sought medical assistance for diagnosis on what could be wrong. He was attended to by one Dr Mcharo who referred him for an x-ray scan.
After the scan, Dr Macharo informed him that his arm had pus which needed to be drained and recommended that it should be operated on.
“A certain Dr Mcharo at the hospital said that there was pus in my arm and I was referred to an operation thearter where an operation was done. After the operation on the 29 of July I was discharged from hospital. Dr Mcharo told me that my wounds would be dressed and cleaned at the clinics and said that I should come back for a check up on the 8th of August,” Masogo testified.
He said that when he went back for a check up on the 8th of August, Dr Mcharo said that his wounds had healed and now the problem he had was that he had developed a stiff elbow and his arm could not straighten up.
Masogo was then referred to a physiotherapist, one Dikeledi Ndoma, for attention. He said that he handed her the medical documents and she immediately booked her for physiotherapy sessions.
“I attended the sessions and the third session was on the 11th of August which was booked on the morning of that day. Ndoma told me to remove my shirt and lie on the bed. She was with another woman and she told me that the session was going to be different that day,” said the plaintiff.
To his amazement, Ndoma ordered her woman accomplice to hold his left hand while he was lying on his stomach on the bed and she (Ndoma) pressed down his right arm against the edge of the bed. He said that he felt an excruciating pain and tried to tell her to stop but she continued without listening to her.
“Despite the fact that I told her that I was under immense pain due to the exercise, Ndoma told me that there was nothing she could do as she wanted to straighten up my arm. Instead she continued and finally I heard a cracking sound and she stopped. I asked her what the sound was all about and she said that it was probably the sound made by the tendon on the joint of the arm,” Masogo told the court.
He added that at the time the pain worsened. After the exercise, he was ordered to stand up but he could not because of the abnormal pain.
The plaintiff explained that Ndoma then brought a bucket full of rubbing chemical to apply on his arm but the situation could not change.
“After rubbing my arm with the ointment, she then brought electric equipment which she connected to my arm. The pain was gruesome as I screamed and cried,” he said.
Masogo said that the physiotherapist then went out and came with a doctor to attend to his condition. He was injected with a pain killer and was referred to the X-ray department for another scan. He was then hospitalized from the 11th to the 16th of August and nothing was done apart from being given lots of pain killers. He was not availed the results of the X- ray.
“I was not given the results of the x-ray and I was piled with pain killers from the 11th to the 16th of August,” he said.
He added that on the 17th of August his elder sister came to the hospital to check on him and enquired about his condition from the hospital management. The hospital management team, in the company of the physiotherapist, called on a counseling session in the presence of his sister. He was told that his arm bone was broken because it was weak due to the pus that had been drained earlier from his arm.
“They said that my arm was broken and my shoulder was dislocated. I was referred to one Dr Nyamuziwa who gave me treatment and further referred me to Mahalapye clinic to meet Dr Muhembelo, an orthopaedist,” he said.
He said that Dr Muhembelo gave him some treatment and told him that his arm had been fractured and he will no longer lift heavy objects. He said that during the course of the treatment in Mahalapye he was later called by Dr Ewetse Mosweu who was the hospital superintendent at Nyangabgwe hospital at the time. She called all the medical staff who attended to his condition and they all tendered an apology for causing his condition.
“I used to work as a mechanic and now I have lost my employment and income due to the condition. I also have two children to take care of therefore I need this court to assist me to get compensation for the damages I suffered to the sum of P300 000 from Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital for negligence. They should also pay for my legal costs,” he said.
The case continues as both the defense and the plaintiff are still to call their witnesses.
The plaintiff is represented by Mboni Manyothwane of Manyothwane and Partners while Ndiye Balule represents the Attorney General.
The case continues.