Nellore: The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Nellore, ordered five persons including higher authorities of a hospital, a drug manufacturing firm and two drug distributors to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to an elderly woman whose vision was affected after cataract surgery in 2009.
The woman identified as Vattikala Suseelamma, 62, is a resident of Vedaya-palem in Nellore and was one among the four persons who lost vision in eye after surgery in 2009 at an eye hospital in Nellore.
Ms Suseeelamma went to the hospital with a complaint of defective vision in the left eye since six months and the doctors diagnosed “nuclear sclerosis with posterior sub capsular cataration left eye” after investigation.
They carried out a surgical procedure in her left eye on October 19, 2009 and discharged her the same day. However she returned to the hospital complaining about severe pain in her left eye after surgery the next day.
Chief opththalmologic surgeon late Dr Sai Murali, advised her to rush to Dr. Agarw-al’s eye hospital in Chennai since they did not have the facility to deal with the complication here.
After examining her, the medical team at the hospital in Chennai carried out an emergency operation and advised lefty Evis Ration implant to save her life and vision to her right eye on October 21.
The woman who paid Rs 25,000 for the surgery in Nellore spent nearly Rs 1 lakh for the emergency operation in Chennai. Blaming the hospital for her loss of sight in one eye, Ms Suseelamma issued a legal notice on February 1, 2010 to the opposite parties, claiming Rs 10 lakh as damages.
She approached the forum in September 2014 after the opposition parties did not respond positively to her pleas.
The hospital submitted to the forum that some other patients who underwent surgery on October 19 and 20 in 2009 also suffered sight problems and the reason was contaminated Ringer Lactate solution used for the patients.
They also pointed to the report of a committee appointed by government to enquire into the episode which did not establish any negligence on the part of either the surgeons or paramedical staff of the hospital.
In their submission, the hospital executives referred to a central team recommendation to ban/black list the company manufacturing the RL bottles.
After hearing arguments from both sides and verifying judgments in similar cases in the past, president of the forum Sk. Mohd. Ismail directed the opposite parties to pay a sum of Rs 10 lakh to Ms Suseelamma as compensation.
He ordered them to pay the sum with interest at 24 per cent per annum from the date of surgery—October 19, 2009. He also ordered the opposition parties to pay Rs 10,000 towards the cost of the complaint to the victim.
Member of the forum K. Uma Maheswara Rao, was also present.
While advocate M.M. Kota Reddy represented Suseelamma, advocates O. Abbai Reddy and V. Jayarama Rao argued on behalf of the opposition parties.