~ In case of a medical emergency, delay can never be condoned as it can cause the death of a person.
• Background of the case:
~ The case concerned the petitioner's deceased wife who was taken to the Primary Health Centre back in 2012 for the delivery of her baby.
~ He alleged that after delivery, there was excessive bleeding suffered by his wife.
~ Since her condition was critical, the treating doctor recommended them to shift her to a higher facility hospital.
~ The ambulance arrived late at PHC and after reaching the hospital the patient was declared dead due to postpartum haemorrhage.
• Complainant's allegation:
~ Even though her situation was critical, the treating doctor in spite of administering her with necessary drugs recommended her to another hospital.
~ He alleged that he lost his wife only due to the delay caused due to the non-availability of the ambulance seeking a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs for the loss.
• Doctor's Defense:
~ Both the District medical officer and the treating doctor had denied any kind of negligence in treatment.
~The treating doctor submitted that after observing that she was bleeding more than normal, he had immediately administered all the necessary drugs and necessary first aid.
~ In order to avoid any unfortunate incident, he had recommended shifting the patient to a better medical facility and she was stable at the time of shifting.
• The Commission held that:
~ After perusing the facts and materials, the commission noted that in this unfortunate case the petitioner had lost his life due to excessive bleeding after childbirth.
~ The Court also agreed that the doctor had administered necessary drugs as first aid to the petitioner's wife and attempts were made to bring the situation under control.
~ There was definitely a delay in shifting the petitioner's wife from the Primary Health Centre to the Hospital due to the non-availability of an ambulance.
~ The Court directed the State Government to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to the petitioner.
MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT