~ Bonafide mistake under certain circumstances may be excusable, but an identical mistake to negligence cannot be pardoned.
• Background of the case:
~ A 26-year old woman approached a doctor in Hospital 1 following severe stomach pain and was diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy, surgery was advised.
~ Surgery was done but the patient continued suffering severe stomach pain for which medicines were prescribed but the condition didn't improve.
~ They visited Hospital 2 where she was operated again and was informed that she suffered a cut in her intestine during the previous surgery at the first hospital.
• Complainant's allegation:
~ The Complainant alleged that Hospital 1 did not inform her about the cut in her intestine.
~ They approached the Consumer Court seeking compensation of Rs 25 lakh from the treating doctor and hospital for medical negligence.
• Doctor's Defense:
~ The hospital and the doctor denied all the allegations and told that the discharge summary from hospital 2 nowhere mentioned that the perforation happened due to the previous surgery.
~ They also pointed out that enteric fever may have caused these multiple perforations.
~ The patient didn't complain of any problem during her discharge from Hospital 1 and even took leave against medical advice (LAMA).
• The Commission held that:
~ The commission noted that the treating doctor failed to use indicated tests to identify abdominal pain.
~ There appear to be apparent investigation errors, such as required lab. tests and diagnostic images were not done.
~ The patient opted for LAMA as the treating doctor and hospital failed to appropriately conduct diagnostic testing and monitoring and refer the patient in time.
~ The Commission directed the doctor and hospital to pay a lump sum of Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the patient and it held them guilty of deficiency in service and medical negligence.
STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION,