~ Skills/ mode of treatment differs with every doctor, negligence cannot be attributed if he performs his duty with competence.
• Background of the case:
~ The patient was suffering from congenital spinal deformity and for treatment, they consulted in AIIMS and she was advised urgent surgery.
~ After surgery it was noticed that one screw penetrated the vertebral canal and caused Grade – III perforation in the spinal cord.
~ The spinal cord was severely damaged and unfortunately she became paralyzed for the rest of her life, with loss of bowel and urinary control.
• Complainant's allegation:
~ It was alleged that the C-arm was not used during the operation and the first surgery was conducted by an orthopedic surgeon and not a neurologist.
~ The second operation was conducted and she remained in ICU for 10 days, but there was no recovery in movements of the lower part of the body.
~ Due to alleged negligence from the doctor during both the operations, the patient became paralyzed for the rest of her life.
• Doctor's Defense:
~ The doctor denied all the allegations and submitted that they acted immediately once the accidental misplacement of the screw was detected.
~ It was further submitted that the treating doctor was an Orthopaedic-spine surgeon with rich experience in spinal deformity correction.
~ The patient's father is a doctor by profession and he was fully aware and understood the risks and complications involved in spinal surgery and had signed the consent.
• The Commission held that:
~ The bench noticed that there are two C arm machines and both the machines were functional so the allegation of surgeries without the help of the C-arm was dismissed.
~ The second procedure was carried out without loss of much time in presence of a Neurosurgeon and operatively no Dural injury was found.
~ The commission dismissed the case of medical negligence against the doctor and his team, who have performed the spinal deformity surgery with a reasonable duty of care.
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission