#Legallyspeaking: Importance of power back-up in times of po
A case highlighting the need of alternative power supply in critical departments such as ICU's and OT's.

Background:

A pregnant lady was consulting the gynecologist regularly and reported swelling in her legs six months later. She complained of severe abdominal pain and an examination by gynecologist concluded "Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) with Pre-eclamptic toxemia with intrauterine death of the fetus with septicemia'". Urgent lower segment caesarian section surgery was performed by the gynecologist along with the surgeon and an anesthetist, to remove the dead fetus. During surgery, there was power failure and the generator could not be started immediately. After the surgery, the patient suffered renal failure that night and underwent kidney transplantation. The patient expired about six months later due to renal failure.

Allegation/s by patient's family:

It was alleged that during surgery, there was no power for 15 minutes resulting in defective surgery and hospital was running without basic amenities like power generator. It was also alleged that the gynecologist transfused blood relying on the information given by the patient without performing any test and there was delay in requisition for blood required during surgery.

Doctor's defense:

The doctor accepted that there was a power failure for 2 mins during the surgery and it was clearly recorded in the operation notes. The power failure had nothing to do with the post-surgery complications.
It was stated by Doctor that the patient had committed mistakes in not coming for routine check-ups and not reaching out to gynecologist immediately after the fetal movement had stopped.

Court's findings:

• The court specifically observed that 'a hospital which is attending delivery, including performance of surgery, should be equipped with basic amenities, apprehending problem, including power failure'.

• The court observed that the hospital was having emergency lights, which were used during power failure.

• The court held that renal failure had occurred due to spread of toxins in the blood stream after intrauterine death of the fetus and not medical negligence as alleged.

• The court relying on the medical records held the patient responsible for not reporting to the hospital for three days after the fetal death.

• The court rejected the patient's allegations regarding wrong blood group. The gynecologist had requisitioned blood well in time.

Hence, the gynecologist and the hospital were not held negligent.

Suggested precautions:

Power generators / Invertors are now mandatory and standard equipment for all hospitals and nursing homes. It is equally important to ensure that in case of a power failure, the time required to switch to the alternative power source is minimal especially for critical departments like Intensive Care Unit, Operation theater and others. Complete and properly written medical records always persuade the courts to draw positive inference in favor of the doctor / hospital.

Read here in detail: https://pxmd.co/we6B4
Dr. T●●●●z H●●●●●●i and 3 others like this8 shares
Like
Comment
Share
Dr. S●●●●●v S●●●●●1
Dr. S●●●●●v S●●●●●1 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Courts understand the basic problems and who is at fault because some are habitually resistant to repeated requests by the doctors and the Indian judiciary know the temperament of the doctors and the hospital management very well. It' s actually the Hon' ble courts that we get proper relief; hence we must maintain our records as thoroughly as we can, but it' s a sorrow state of affairs that our juniors who are actually entrusted with this work for their own development and learning the skill in everything including details of operation steps, making diagrams whenever required and any difficulty encountered in operation theatre take it lightly to make us land in many problems.... Read more
Jan 18, 2019Like2