~ A doctor can't be held negligent if he acts according to the practice accepted by the profession.
• Background of the case:
~ The patient suffered an injury as a tiny part of the metal tool got broken and penetrated into his right eye.
~ He immediately went to Hospital 1 where due to fewer resources, he was advised to go to another hospital, where an opthalmologist diagnosed a simple injury, dressed the eye, and let the patient go home.
~ The patient had episodes of vomiting and severe pain in the eye and he got examined by another opthalmologist and was admitted.
~ Due to the delay in treatment unfortunately he lost his vision of the right eye.
• Complainant's allegation:
~ Due to the delay, he had suffered a severe infection and the doctors were constrained to do surgery for removal of the right eye.
~ Since the doctor treated him initially without due care and caution and without considering the gravity of the injury, he lost his vision of the right eye.
• Doctor's Defense:
~ The counsel for the doctors denied the allegations stating that he had a history of sustaining an injury to his right eye two days prior to the date of consultation.
~ Ocular examination revealed lid edema with partial-thickness corneal wound and severe iritis and fundal examination showed no view.
~ Considering the seriousness, emergency treatment was given with topical antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs and applied pad and bandage.
~ They contended the fact that the complainant sustained an injury to the right eye was not correct and from the records submitted by the complainant.
• The Commission held that:
~ Since some facilities were not available at hospital 1, the patient was advised to go to any higher center. Hence, the hospital and the doctors were right in referring the patient.
~ The complainant did not admit that the injury happened 2 days before and did not mention that he was first referred to another Hospital from where some medicines were prescribed.
~ The doctor has been negligent only to the extent that he did not follow and adopt an adequate normal procedure of obtaining the required test reports before arriving at a diagnosis.
~ The court has dismissed medical negligence charges against an eye hospital and 2 ophthalmologists.
CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM KANNUR