National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A Division Bench of Dr S.M. Kantikar (Presiding Member) and Dinesh Singh (Member), while addressing the issue of medical negligence by the doctors of Christian Medical College, Vellore awarded compensation to the deceased’ wife.
Deceased got admitted to as a private patient at Christian Medical College, Vellore — OP and on being examined it was found to be a case of Coronary Artery Disease.
The treating doctor advised the deceased to undergo Coronary Angiogram test when the same was conducted, the doctor expressed that it would be better if the patient undergoes Coronary Arterial By-pass Graft (CABG) surgery instead of angioplasty to avoid multiple stenting.
After a couple of days, Dr Sujit discontinued medicines Ecospirin and Clopidogrel and started Heparin 5000 units 6 hourly.
Heparin was started without any laboratory investigations and monitoring protocol.
Complainant had notice bleeding at the site of insertion of the needle but the said complaint was ignored by the doctors.
On the 3rd does of Heparin being given to the patient, it was noted that he suffered from a mini-stroke after that.
An immediate CT Scan was to be done but no stroke evaluation was suggested by the doctor. Later the deceased was transferred to the Thoracic surgery unit in Semi-ICU. Neurologist suggested a CT-Brain Plain study but the same was delayed.
The neurologist after conducting the above-stated scan informed the complainant that as the patient already progressed into coma, nothing more could be done. Finally, doctors suggested the family that they should accept the inevitable event and instead of wasting money allow them to withdraw ventilator support.
Later, the complainant took the opinion of several other doctors who said that the delay caused for stroke management was fatal and it was due to lapses in the hospital.
Patients once again suffered a stroke and died on nothing being done by the doctors.
In view of the above-stated, present consumer complaint was filed for medical negligence and callousness of the doctors at CMC causing the death of the patient.
Commission on perusal of the facts and submissions of the case stated that, the high-risk patients living in the hospital/nursing homes or undergoing cardiac procedures should have monitoring systems to help alert the doctor/staff immediately.
Adding to its analysis, the bench also stated that pre-hospital triage and communication between radiologists, neurologists and emergency physicians are more vital.
Delay in diagnosis and management of stroke was a deficiency and not a reasonable or standard of practice.
Another significant setback that was noted was that there was an urgent need for a brain CT scan of the patient but it was delayed for more than 3 hours for the want of a fresh receipt of Rs 1850 towards CT scan charges even though complainants had already deposited 150000 in advance.
For the above instance, the bench stated,
Hospital has every right to insist the payment but it was also a prime duty to care the emergency patient.
In view of the above, deficiency/negligence was conclusively established and hence ac compensation of Rs 25 lakhs with an interest of 8% p.a was awarded. [Yashumati Devi v. Christian Medical College, 2020 SCC OnLine NCDRC 211, decided on 11-08-2020]