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Court Dismisses Case of Woman in Coma 

by Oswald Niyonzima
6:38 pm

Theodette Mukansaga

Kacyiru Primary Court in Gasabo District has dismissed the case involving a woman who was put into an “irreversible” coma from August 2017 by Kibagabaga Hospital medical practitioner who allegedly mishandled her delivery case.

The case involves Theodette Mukansanga 39, a mother of six who has been in coma for more than a year now and Elise Mukarukundo, an anesthesiast who assisted her during delivery at Kibagabaga Hospital.

The plaintiff is represented by her lawyer John Hakizimana.

In August 2017 Mukansanga delivered a baby girl by C-section. But, she allegedly fell into coma upon delivery.

An investigation conducted by Rwanda Medical and Dental Council and concluded on 28 March 2018 as recommended by the then Rwanda Criminal Investigation Department (CID) acknowledges that there were mistakes in Mukasanga’s post-natal care.

“Based on our knowledge in injecting anesthesia, we realized that if the patient was timely given due care, even if there could have been a high spinal anesthesia, it could have not reached the level of ‘probably’ brain death,” a team of two medical doctors and two anesthesiasts concluded.

Another statement by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) indicates that the defendant allegedly admitted commiting some errors in handling the case.

However, she blamed it on lack of professional support during the delivery operation and lack of adequate materials that were required to handle that particular case.

“I admit I put Mukasanga on oxygen late, but it was not intended or due to negligence, I was alone and taking care of another patient,” the anesthesiast said, adding that “Mukansaga’s case shocked me and I am still traumatised.”

In this investigation, it was indicated that normally, for injecting an anesthesia to a patient, a team of two anesthetists is required, but there was only one anesthetist that fateful day.

On December 27, the Kacyiru Primary Court ruled in favor of the defendant.

“The court found out that Theodette Mukasanga’s case in relation with an anesthetist is baseless,” the judge ruled without further explanation.

The court also found baseless the reparation demand where the plaintiff had asked Rwf105 million.

Juvenal Habyarimana, the husband of Mukansanga told KT Press that the court ruling “is unfortunate” and said he is going to appeal against it.

“It’s pity that the court has ignored facts. The patient is still at the hospital in an irreversible brain situation and this happened during the treatment,” Habyarimana said, begging several entities and the Head of State in person “to intervene and give justice to my wife and my family.”

On November 19, 2018, when KT Press visited Mukansanga at the Kigali University Teaching Hospital (CHUK) where she was transferred after the alleged anesthesia failure, found her being fed and administered to medicine through tubes.

Her husband decided to take care of her wife until God decides her fate.

He says the future of their six children is in jeopardy, since they do not have anyone to take care of them.”