THE NITRA Regional Court upheld on October 2 the lower-instance court’s verdict ordering the Teaching Hospital in Nitra to pay almost €500,000 for non-material damages after a patient undergoing a common nose surgery ended up with permanent brain damage, the Sme daily reported.
Šimon Buch has remained in a vegetative state ever since 2007, when he was operated on. His family asked for compensation for health damage and interference of privacy.
Experts opine that the mistake was made by the doctor who resuscitated Buch, then aged 16, after the surgery, but sent him to a common post-surgery ward instead of an anaesthesiology-resuscitation ward. Thus, it took several hours before doctors found out that he did not awaken after the surgery. By then, his brain had been irreversibly damaged.
Lawyer Peter Wilfling of the Via Iuris civic association considers the verdict a new, positive trend, as “it is necessary that courts finally start appropriately acknowledging damage compensations also for common citizens for serious damage to health”, he told Sme.
The Nitra hospital, led by Smer MP Jozef Valocký, is the only teaching hospital that regularly makes a profit. Valocký did not comment on the recent verdict and told Sme that the hospital will try to find resources to pay the compensation. The hospital might still try to contest the verdict at the Supreme Court.
The boy’s mother, Valéria Buchová, is happy with the verdict, but said it does not give her “moral satisfaction”, and it will not bring back her son, whose chances of recovering are very slim.
Buchová is still waiting for an apology from the hospital. She said she will use the money to continue caring for her son, the SITA newswire reported.