#LegallySpeaking: Case of Patient Who Had a Wheelchair Fall
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• Tip:

~ Careless mistakes made by hospital staff can place innocent lives at risk.

• Background of the case:

~ The patient had visited the treating hospital for a follow-up check-up after spinal surgery.

~ The patient said she was very rashly and negligently wheeled from the hospital corridor, on the ramp by an unidentified security guard without putting on the seat belt.

~ This resulted in an accident and she suffered 'head-on fall' from the wheelchair and sustained a fracture of left (ankle) lower end fibular tip.

• Complainant's allegation:

~ The complainant alleged that even after the fall, first-aid was not given to her, and she had to stand in queue for payment of X-Ray charges.

~ When the treating hospital was made aware of the incident the authorities willfully avoided informing the police about such a serious accident in their premises.

• Doctor's Defense:

~ The treating hospital had claimed that a junior doctor at the hospital had immediately attended the patient after the fall and provisional diagnosis mentioned as undisplaced fracture of lower end of the left tibia.

~ A Sugar tong splint was given which was to be removed after 5 days and an Air Cast splint was advised to be worn after 5 days.

• The Commission held that:

~ The Hospital authority should make systemic improvement in their administration and their grievance redressal mechanism to ensure the patient's safety and to maintain good Doctor-Patient relationship," said the Commission.

~ It observed that the patient underwent mental agony and physical trauma and the quantum of award made by the State Commission.

~ By the judgment of the State Commission, the hospital was asked to pay Rs 3,51,000/- to the Complainant.

Source:
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi
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