Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hospital directs to pay compensation for patient's death

Consumer forum directs hospital to pay compensation for patient's death


TIRUCHI, August 7, 2012

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed G.V.N. Hospital, Babu Road, in the city to pay compensation for the death of a woman in the hospital in 2006 due to "medical negligence and deficiency of service."

The Forum, comprising its president P. Jacob Jayakumar and Member P. Vishakan, ordered the hospital to pay Rs.2 lakhs as compensation and Rs.2,000 towards to S. Ramesh, the husband of deceased Premalatha, within a period of one month from the date of receipt of the order.

While holding that there was "deficiency of service on the part of the hospital" and that it had "committed medical negligence in service," the order passed on July 30, however, stated that there was no deficiency on the part of the doctor Dr. G. Hemamalini who attended to the delivery of Pushpalatha.

The Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu filed a case before the Forum in 2007 against the hospital and Dr. Hemamalini on behalf of Mr. Ramesh, who was complainant number 2.

In the complaint, the council submitted that Pushpalatha was admitted to the hospital on October 16, 2006 for delivery of her second child.

After delivering a male baby in the normal course, the woman fainted and excessive bleeding was noticed one hour after delivery.

The woman was taken to G.V.N main hospital at Singarathope in a car instead of an ambulance as the Babu Road hospital was not equipped with oxygen, blood, good nursing care or supportive doctors to attend emergency case necessitating the transportation of the patient. Owing to heavy traffic congestion on Deepavali eve, it took 45 minutes to reach the hospital during which period the patient was bleeding, they alleged.

The woman was declared dead the same night, the complaint said attributing the death to negligence, insufficient care and failure to control excessive bleeding.

Denying that there was deficiency of service, the hospital and the doctor in their counter affidavits stated that the woman with increased bleeding complained of breathing difficulty. The patient was shifted to the intensive care unit at G.V.N. Hospital at Singarathope in the car of the doctor.

The woman was given four units of blood but she developed Brady-cardia. In spite of resuscitative measures and attention by specialists, the patient died. The cause of death was due to post-partum haemorrhage with cardiac arrest, the counter affidavits said.

After hearing both sides, the Forum said nothing effective was done to stop the bleeding or find out the cause. The late arrival of the patient at Singarathope should have been one of the reasons for her death, the Forum held while ordering compensation.


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