The district consumer disputes redressal forum, Panchkula, has fined Alchemist Hospital, Sector 21, Rs 5 lakh for medical negligence leading to the death of a patient.
Suresh Chandra Mittal, a resident of Sector 4 here, submitted before the consumer forum that his wife Raj Rani, 71, was having a minor problem of constipation and irregular bowel movements. She went for a medical check-up at the Alchemist Hospital on April 10, 2013. As per the complaint, the doctor advised colonoscopy and prescribed some medicines for ‘washing’ the abdomen with further advice to come back for colonoscopy in the evening. After taking the medicine, as prescribed, Raj Rani again visited the hospital at 3.30 pm, accompanied by her husband Suresh Chandra Mittal and daughter-in-law Rajni Mittal.
At the time of examination in the OPD, the blood pressure was 100/60 mmhg and there had been no cardiac history ever. As the room was shut, the complainant said he heard cries of Raj Rani. Suresh stated that he asked the doctor to stop the process but the doctor didn’t pay heed to what he was saying. Later, the patient was shifted to the ICU. Suresh Chandra claimed that he saw through the glass panes that hospital staff was pressing the chest of his wife to revive her heart. Ultimately, Raj Rani was declared dead.
The hospital authorities denied the allegations of negligence and told the forum that “officers of the hospital had acted in a bonafide manner”.
The court presided over by president Dharam Pal, and members Anita Kapoor and Anil Sharma, observed: “It was nothing but culpable negligence on the part of the Alchemist Hospital and doctors who attended patient to proceed with the further treatment when the patient was found to have a significantly low blood pressure.” The judgment added that “the minimal level of prudence required that the treating doctor took steps, in the first instance, to normalise the blood pressure of the patient and to proceed with the further treatment only thereafter” and commented that “the treating doctor displayed a wanton approach and professional incompetence in not waiting for the blood pressure of the patient to come up”.
The forum directed Alchemist Hospital’s executive director Dr IS Virdi, Dr Pradeep Kumar and insurers of hospital, United India Insurance Company and New India Assurance Limited, to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the complainant along with 9% interest rate.