Hyderabad: Rainbow Children’s Hospital and Perinatal Centre at Banjara Hills here and four doctors from the hospital were held jointly responsible for ‘deficiency in service’ by the Consumer Forum, Hyderabad. They were asked to pay a sum of Rs 5 lakhs to a couple B. Dilip Reddy and B. Nikitha Reddy, residents of Malakpet, whose son was born with a deformity in his right hand despite all pre-natal reports showing no abnormalities.
The second complainant , Dilip’s wife, stated that she had undergone four pre-natal checkups and the reports stated that both hands were clearly visible and there was no foetal structural defects. All the reports of the scanning were shown without any medical problem and Nikitha delivered the baby on February 18, 2012.
After seeing the deformity, the doctors informed the parents that such a deformity in the right hand was possible due to amniotic bands and advised future follow ups with a hand surgeon for rehabilitation and future management.
The couple demanded compensation for not taking proper care and skill in diagnosis of the foetus and for giving wrong reports. The doctors filed a counter stating that the technical limitation of the scan cannot be equated to negligence of doctors. They also claimed that some abnormalities develop only as the foetus grows and some congenital problems can be seen only after delivery.
The hospital also claimed that there was immediate post-natal detection of the abnormality and the process of initiating counselling of parents was adopted immediately. They also argued that there is no 100 per cent detection rate of anomalies with respect to limb reduction defects.
All the four doctors denied medical negligence saying that they followed all the standard recommendations and guidelines adopted in clinical practice.
The forum stated that, “A patient who goes to a physician or diagnostic or radiologist does not expect a wrong diagnosis leading to further mental agony and tension.” The forum also noted that there was the possibility of foetal surgery to rectify the deformity.
It was also said that birth defects may be caused by genetic problems, environmental problems and others and therefore the only negligence in the part of the doctors is that they did not detect the deformity in the foetus.
“Even if they could not perform foetal surgery, they could have at least counselled the parents to retain sufficient ‘self-control’ which would have avoided the development of unrealistic fear for the parents,” the forum said....