A SURGEON was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay more than €200,000 to Limassol taxi driver Tasos Lambrou whose father suffered serious health problems in 2005 due to a doctor’s negligence.
Surgeon and chairman of the board at private Ygia Policlinic in Limassol Yiannis Ioannou had been ordered to pay the amount in 2011 but appealed the court’s decision. It took another five years before the case was finally heard at the Supreme Court and the decision was upheld. In the meantime, in 2013, Lambrou’s father Pantelis died after being in poor health for years.
“We are over the moon,” Tasos Lambrou said on Thursday. “for us it is not about the money but about justice for my father.”
The shameful thing about it, he added, is that it took so long for the court to reach this decision. “My father passed away without knowing about the money. It could have helped him in his last years when he was in a lot of pain, and given him some dignity.”
The doctor had twice operated on Lambrou’s father, Pantelis, over 10 years ago, in 2005. Pantelis, 68 at the time, had a gall bladder removed on December 1 after it was inflamed.
Three weeks after the initial surgery, on December 21, he was readmitted to the private clinic after feeling unwell and had another operation to remove an abscess, which, like the first one, was carried out by Ioannou.
By the next day, the patient’s blood pressure had plummeted and he was having seizures so strong that he had to be restrained.
Five days after the surgery, a diabetes specialist was called who ordered blood sugar tests and found the patient had fallen into a diabetic coma with his sugar levels hitting 1,900 mg.
According to the specialist these tests should have been taken much earlier and the failure of the doctor to administer them put the patient at risk and resulted in his poor health.
During the 2009 court case, the endocrinologist testified that he managed to bring down Pantelis’ blood sugar levels to 281. However, under the circumstances, bearing in mind Pantelis’ age, his infection and the stress from his surgeries his blood sugar should have been monitored every day post-surgery.
In his defence, the surgeon told the court he had tested the patient’s sugar levels using glucose strips which revealed all was normal. He added it was not common practice to burden a patient with more tests if they did not have diabetes.
But this, according to the endocrinologist was not sufficient enough as it has a margin of error of 20 per cent. A more thorough approach would have been to carry out a blood test.
The doctor testified Pantelis’ falling into a coma was a rare development which happened in one in 1,000 cases and usually resulted in high blood sugar without the patient falling into a diabetic coma.