A 32-year-old woman has moved the consumer court against a leading hospital chain in Gurgaon after a gynaecologist allegedly left behind a 12x12 inch sponge in her abdomen after a surgery. The victim has sought Rs. 5 crore as damages.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) admitted the complaint on July 10.
According to the victim (who doesn’t wish to be named), she was taken to Max Healthcare, on March 14, after she experienced unbearable pain in her abdomen.
“I was rushed to Max hospital in Gurgaon where the doctor told me that I had fibroids, which had to be removed through a minor surgery,” said the victim.
However, after the surgery performed by Dr Kaushika Dwivedi at the hospital, her condition worsened. She began to suffer from respiratory problems and her kidneys and liver were adversely affected.
She was shifted to the ICU at Medanta – The Medicity, where she spent another two weeks. After conducting a series of scans and tests here, the doctors told her that a sponge was seen in her abdomen and a cancer drug was wrongly administered to her. She underwent a second consecutive operation.
According to the complainant, she was administered Methotrexate that is usually given to patients suffering from bone marrow cancer. It led to a drastic drop in her platelet count and she was admitted to the ICU.
“According to the rules, the doctor should have sought my consent or my family’s before injecting the cancer drug. The high dose of 15mg led to a drastic drop in my platelet count. My survival chances were bleak,” the complainant said.
She now has dark spots all over her body and has lost her hair. She spent more than R20 lakh on treatment.
According to the complainant’s lawyer, Jai Basal, a medical, civil and matrimonial lawyer at the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court, notices in this regard were sent to Max Healthcare on July 26.
“This is a very rare case. The victim had approached the police after her recovery where they refused to register her complaint. There can’t be any direct negligence than this,” said Bansal.
A case has been registered under sections 334, 325, 323 and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC.
The accused have to file their replies on December 12, the next date of hearing.
“To protect the medical privacy of the patient, who was treated at our Gurgaon hospital, we cannot share the specifics of the case with you, but can confirm that the treatment was done with full consent of either her or her family. While it is unfortunate to hear that she is dissatisfied, we have received no official intimation from her or anyone else regarding this. We will be happy to cooperate with and provide details to the patient, her family and representatives or any government authority,” said the hospital in a statement.
“We wish the patient well. We would also like to reiterate that at Max Healthcare, we place the highest importance on the safety and care of our patients. To this objective, we follow international best practices in consonance with WHO guidelines on surgical safety and our clinical care pathways also conform to international guidelines,” it said.
The Gurgaon resident, however, is still shaken.
“The doctors have told me that it will take another six months for the drug to be flushed out entirely from my system. I have quit my job. I don’t think I will be able to work anywhere. With all the dark spots on my body, I don’t feel like showing my face to anyone,” she said.