Ambala hospital and its doctors penalised Rs 6.80 lakh for medical negligence in treatment of a woman who died later

Written by
Jagpreet Singh Sandhu
| Chandigarh |

Published: March 21, 2020 2:09:17 pm

v The forum after hearing the arguments held that “Surgery was being performed for removal of uterus and not intestine.”

THE CHANDIGARH Consumer Forum has directed an Ambala based hospital to pay Rs 6.80 lakh to a Kalka resident and his children, for medical negligence in the treatment of his wife, who later died during treatment at PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Raj Kumar (61), alleged that his wife Meena Kumari was admitted in the Sri Sai Hospital at Ambala, Haryana, and was suffering from Menopausal Bleeding (Recurrent) with hypothyroidism. On being investigated by Dr Shraddha Bedi and Dr Dinesh Bedi of Sri Sai Hospital, a minor surgery, either by laser or open surgery, was advised. Kumar added on November 16, 2015 she was admitted on deposit of requisite room charges and surgery which is Rs 30,000. On the day after surgery, fluids were given to his wife Meena Kumari in order to check her health and the doctors had assured everything is normal and notes were prepared. Another surgery was conducted by application of the method of bipolar coagulation on November 17, 2015. The next morning the patient started complaining of mild distress and discomfort.

The same was not cured and doctors at Sri Sai Hospital were unable to detect the cause and the patient was advised to shift to Alchemist Hospital, where after tests were conducted, Rs 10 lakh was quoted for the surgery along with a sum of Rs 1 lakh per day to stay in the hospital, which the complainants could not afford. Kumar said that treatment was taken from PGIMER, where the complainant’s wife expired during the course of treatment.

Kumar thus filed a formal complaint against Sri Sai Hospital, its doctors, Alchemist Hospital, and PGIMER and its doctors, alleging that treatment was initiated at Ambala, then at Panchkula and thereafter at PGI, Chandigarh and she had also expired during the treatment at Chandigarh, therefore, part of cause of action has also arisen at Chandigarh.

Sri Sai Hospital in reply admitted receipt of the amount and surgery done by them and thereafter she felt distress. It was also submitted that doctors were called and for better facilities, referred to Alchemist. Meanwhile, all the intricacies of surgery were explained to the patient Meena Kumari and her relatives and she had opted for Lapro Hysterectomy and they had referred various complications where the risk factor is always there. Hence, denied they were negligent. The Alchemist in reply submitted that no medical negligence was alleged against them rather they had conducted the tests and demanded a sum of Rs 10 lakh for surgery plus Rs 1 lakh per day of the stay charges in the hospital which the complainants were not in a position to afford and got the patient discharged and thereafter took treatment from the PGI, Chandigarh.

PGI claimed patient was examined by the emergency doctors and best possible treatment was given for two months. However, despite best efforts, her condition deteriorated and she succumbed from severe sepsis and multiple organ failure and had expired.

The forum after hearing the arguments held that “Surgery was being performed for removal of uterus and not intestine. This has become a cause for second surgery in a bigger hospital on account of hole caused on which severe infection was caused due to entry of faecal matter in the hole and then sepsis developed which led to multi organ failure and she later on had died. Even in the absence of facilities of CT scan and major surgery knowing fully well this procedure may cause gut perforation they had proceeded to admit her on receipt of the amount and conducted the surgery.Before undertaking the case of the complainant and the surgery which was advised and even knowing fully well in few of the cases such like thing may happen and their hospital did not have the infrastructure to go for the second surgery, they conducted it which shows OPs 1 to 3 (Sri Sai Hospital) were lacking off a duty of care by undertaking the case.”

“.Scrutiny of record shows even OPs 1 to 3 when deceased was feeling under stress failed to detect the cause of stress which was in fact a perforation of large intestine and it was so diagnosed by OPs 4 to 6 (Alchemist) in their hospital and even they did not have the ICU facility at the hospital to meet with such a situation. Non detection of such cause of the stress further shows they were not possessed of a skill or say infrastructure to meet with such like situation and even then proceeded to conduct the surgery.”, read the Forum judgment.

The forum stated that they cannot say or record a finding of medical negligence on part of Alchemist Hospital which merely demanded the amount of Rs 10 lakh for the second surgery.

Holding that the complainant Raj Kumar is entitled to the loss of consortium as he had lost the company of his wife when he was a senior citizen, the forum directed Sri Sai Hospital and its two doctors Dr Shraddha Bedi and Dinesh Bedi, to pay him Rs 1 lakh. The forum further stated that since Sachin, Komal, Kajal and Nisha, son and daughters of Meena Kumari (victim) were deprived of motherly love and affection, the Sri Sai Hospital and its doctors were asked to pay Rs 2 lakh to them in a share of Rs 50,000 each.

The hospital and its doctors were also directed to refund Rs 30,000 to complainants as compensation and Rs 50,000 as cost of litigation, and also to deposit Rs 1.50 lakh in the Poor Patient Welfare Fund of PGIMER and Rs 1.50 lakh in the Consumer Legal Aid Account.

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