Detainee falls into a coma because of medical negligence in Borg Al Arab Prison
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Geneva September 26, 2017
Egypt project – Detention Watch
Hossam Hassan Wahby Hassan is 39 years old and married with 3 children. On 11 August 2017, he fell into a coma after being administered an overdose of anesthetic by the doctors of Borg Al Arab Prison. While he has been moved to an outside hospital, his condition appears to be worsening. The family is not allowed to have him examined by another doctor and is not informed of the specifics of his condition. In addition, no investigation has been opened by the state regarding the malpractice committed by Borg Al Arab Prison doctors.
According to the detainees who were imprisoned with Mr. Hassan, the latter suffered from stomach pain so the prison doctor recommended performing a colonoscopy. Mr. Hassan was sent on 11 August 2017 to the hospital in Borg Al Arab Prison and was scheduled for a colonoscopy. Before it, the doctor in Borg Al Arab’s hospital gave Mr. Hassan an overdose of anesthetic which sent him into a coma. The overdose prevented enough oxygen from reaching his brain (Cerebral hypoxia). On 11 August 2017, he was sent to Nile Hospital in Alexandria.
Since his transportation to Nile hospital, the family has not been adequately informed of his condition. The hospital doctors don’t answer their questions in detail. In addition, the doctors monitoring his condition all appear to be young, inexperienced doctors. The family requested to bring in a specialized doctor to examine Mr. Hassan and inform the family of the reality of his condition, but their request was denied.
Despite being in a coma for 43 days and counting, Mr. Hassan is handcuffed to his bed, which made his hands and arms swelling. He also developed a venous ulcer (painful sores) in his leg, but the doctors affirmed that this was normal given how long he had been in a coma. His family has been able to acquire some test results to show to an outside doctor who confirmed that his condition is difficult and appears to be worsening, but without access to Mr. Hassan himself there is no way for an outside doctor to be able to accurately diagnose him. His family is not allowed to see him regularly and must first acquire permission from the Prosecution Office, which they can only get once a month, meaning they are officially only allowed to see their relative who is fighting for his life once a month. When they do see him, it is only for a couple of minutes.
On 19 August 2017, the family filed a report against the Prison Warden and the prison’s hospital in Al – Mansheya Courts Complex. They have not received any response on any of their requests, and there is no investigation into the malpractice or medical negligence of the prison and its hospital.
Currently, Mr. Hassan is in a coma in Intensive care in Nile hospital in Alexandria with serious concerns on the part of his family if he will ever regain consciousness again.
On 14 August 2013, Mr. Hassan was arrested without being given reasons as to why and without a warrant in a police checkpoint in front of Semoha Security Directorate. He was sentenced to 15 years on 28 September 2015, on charges of belonging to a banned organization and attempting to damage public property, such as the Tram and Library of Alexandria. Later, possessing of cartridges and Molotov were added to his charges on cases 6300/2013 and 20091/2013 Felonies Total East Bab Al Maurofa and his appeal was rejected a year later.
The Committee for Justice calls upon the relevant Egyptian authorities to administrate to Mr. Hassan a proper treatment in decent, humane conditions and to adequately inform his family of his condition and allow them to visit him.
It also demands that Egyptian authorities investigate the malpractice committed by the Borg Al Arab Prison doctors that led a healthy man into a coma.