Injured medical student claims Rs. 50 m. from BMICH

By Manopriya Gunasekera

The medical student who sustained severe injuries in an accident on February 15, 2008 at the BMICH when she was organising the setting up of stalls for the medical exhibition MEDEX, appeared in the Colombo District Court claiming Rs. 50 million as compensation from the BMICH.

According to medical reports, the student, Samitha Samanmali would not be able to carry out the tasks as a doctor or lead a normal married life, but would be confined to a wheel chair for the rest of her life.
The accident occurred when an iron rod fell on her head damaging her spine and skull severely when she went to the BMICH premises to set up exhibition stalls for MEDEX. The iron rod was part of the construction equipment of an exhibition held previously, but which had not been removed.

According to specialist neurologist Himashi Kularatne who gave evidence in courts, it was found on examination that Samanmali’s skull was injured as a result of the accident and the injury had caused problems to her urinary tract where she releases urine unconsciously, requiring her to wear pampers throughout her life.

Under this condition she is also prone to entry of germs and any haemorrhage will be serious in her case due to the nature of her injuries, court was told. Her brain condition was such that it would not be alerted to any physical pain or injury she may be having, her brain being partially dead. Neither can she control her body systems as there is no communication to her brain from her body parts.

The doctor explained that the surgeries were performed to bring her to the present state where she could sit in a wheelchair but that would be the maximum state she could attain under the present medical system.

Samanmali’s ribs and lungs are dysfunctional to some extent. Her blood circulation is supported by tube functioning. The case was postponed to February 28.

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