Chennai: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chennai, has upheld the order of Coimbatore District Consumer Forum directing a private hospital to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to family members of a woman for committing negligence in operation performed on the woman eight years ago. While a ‘coronary angiogram’ was being performed on her, the apparatus broke into three pieces.
In the original complainant Chitra, a lab assistant in the Department of Soil and Science, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Coimbatore, submitted that she was a healthy person. She was admitted in the Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, Coimbatore on July 17, 2010 for a hernia operation. The doctors had decided to conduct pre-medical check-up and accordingly ‘coronary angiogram’ evaluation was done. During that procedure, the catheter inserted into the complainant broke and the pieces migrated to her right lower limb.
The pieces started obstructing the blood supply to the limb and her pulse rate came down drastically. After receiving a fee of Rs 64,475 the hospital agreed to perform an operation to remove the pieces. Later, the hospital had informed her that the pieces were removed. However, she continued to suffer from pain and numbness and the pain increased every day.
On December 16, 2010 she could not even move her right limb and she became almost unconscious and was rushed to a private hospital, which found that three catheter pieces were still found in her vascular system. Later, she was treated at a private hospital.
In its reply, the hospital management denied the allegations. The management stated that it had not committed any negligence in the service. The Coimbatore District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in 2011 held that hospital and doctors were guilty of deficiency in service arising out of medical negligence. She was entitled to get a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for causing her mental agony and other sufferings in addition to Rs 3,000 towards costs. She died during the pendency of this appeal.
In the appeal, the hospital stated that the District Forum had failed to note that there was no medical negligence on the part of the hospital and there was no medical experts’ opinion adduced by the complainant.
Dismissing the appeal, the bench comprising President Dr Justice S. Tamilvanan and Judicial Member K. Baskaran said that she faced severe mental agony and hardship as she had to carry three pieces of foreign metallic objects in her vascular system till she breathed her last during the pendency of the appeal.
Her family doctor Dr R. Selvaraj, a consultant cardiologist, did coronary angiogram to ascertain her fitness to undergo hernia operation by evaluating her heart condition. The operation was performed at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital on July 17, 2010.
It is disheartening to note that the chief cardiovascular surgeon of the Sri Ramakrishna Heart Foundation & Research Centre, despite his stature, reputation and experience in the field of vascular surgery, had exhibited callous indifference in the matter of removal of three foreign metallic pieces left in the vascular system of the complainant occurred during angiogram procedure....