Mystery death of Emirati after nose surgery

36-year-old man dies after three months in coma at hospital

A 36-year-old Emirati who had been in coma for nearly three months died at an Abu Dhabi hospital on Monday following a suspected medical error during a nose surgery at a hospital in Kalba, a newspaper said on Tuesday.

Salim Saif Al Zaabi, a father of six, died at Zayed Military Hospital and Health Ministry officials said they would investigate the case.

Zaabi was flown to Abu Dhabi from Kalba in late November after falling unconscious during a nose surgery at Kalba Hospital, which later issued a statement saying the causes of his case were still unknown.

His brother in law, Saeed Obaid, said he had been told by the medical team which transferred Zaabi to Abu Dhabi that his condition was critical. He was also told that Zaabi would become “clinically dead if he does not respond to treatment".

“My brother-in-law has a wife and six children…he is their only supporter and I would like to ask now: who will be responsible for what happened…those responsible must be punished for depriving the family of its sole supporter,” he said, quoted by the Arabic language daily 'Emarat Al Youm'.

“We have reported Kalba Hospital and the treating doctor to the prosecutor, who said he was still waiting for a medical panel to be set up by the Ministry of Health…we are still waiting for the Ministry’s response.”

'Emarat Al Youm' reported in December that Zaabi, a Kalba resident, was admitted to hospital for a nose surgery following persistent headaches. He had already undergone two nose operations in 2004 and 2007 but his condition did not improve, prompting Kalba doctors to operate on him again.

“We had not expected this to happen to my brother…the surgery is supposed to be simple and there was no explanation from the hospital or the treating doctor for what happened,” said Umm Zayed, Zaabi’s sister.

“We have submitted a complaint to Sharjah medical authorities because we believe there a serious medical error is involved in this.”

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