PGIMER asked to pay Rs 40,000 compensation for negligence

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2015 09:22 IST

Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has been found on the wrong foot again and this time, for failing to take consent from a patient before injecting MRI contrast injection.

Disposing of a complaint filed by Prabhjot Kaur, 32, a resident of Kathe village in Hoshiarpur district, the district consumer disputes redressal forum directed PGIMER and Dr Khandelwal of department of radio-diagnosis and imaging to pay Rs 40,000 as compensation for deficient services and causing mental agony and harassment to Kaur.

"Negligence in service on part of the hospital was found and Dr Khandelwal did not asked for her consent before injecting MRI contrast," said the forum presided over by PL Ahuja on June 4. He directed the hospital and the doctor to pay compensation along with Rs 11,000 as litigation expenses jointly and severally.

The consumer forum said, "In the instant case, the complainant was neither a minor nor mentally-challenged nor under anaesthesia at the time of injecting MRI contrast, therefore, she should have been made aware of the risks involved. We feel that in the absence of consent, such a procedure on the body of the complainant was an unauthorised invasion and interference with her body."

Kaur's agony began when she visited PGI on September 27, 2012, for treatment of a small wound on her right leg above the ankle from where a white liquid was continuously oozing. After conducting various tests, she was advised to conduct MRI. On May 8, 2013, her husband was asked to bring one injection that was injected on her left hand for conducting the MRI.

Kaur alleged that owing to the said injection, her left hand was swollen and it turned black immediately. As a result, she was hospitalised and during treatment she was advised to get her left hand amputated as the MRI contrast had allegedly gone to wrong veins but her husband refused.

She was discharged on May 20, 2013 but after two months, skin of her left hand started peeling and her remaining nails turned black and thereafter her finger fell down.

Contesting the complaint, PGIMER and Dr Khandelwal denied that the injection was injected negligently.

Other glaring cases

March 1, 2012: State commission, Chandigarh, directed GMSH-16 and its three doctors-Kirti Sood, Navdeep Kaur and Manpreet Kaur-to pay Rs 4 lakh as compensation and Rs 50,000 as cost of litigation to Suman, a victim of wrong blood transfusion along with life-time free treatment. She lost her child in the womb on December 16, 2010. Her kidneys were also affected severely in the process. Later, she was shifted to PGIMER, where her kidneys were revived after a prolonged treatment. Petition for enhancement is pending with the national consumer commission

July 1, 2014: National commission ordered Sector 8-based orthopaedic Sanjay Saluja, who was found guilty of negligence in treating a budding sportsperson Abhishek Ahluwalia (then a teenager), to pay Rs 70 lakh as compensation. Dr Saluja had challenged the order in the SC. Victim's execution petition is pending in state consumer commission, Chandigarh. Dr Saluja is sentenced to two-year simple imprisonment and has to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 for non-compliance.

May 21, 2015:
Holding PGIMER negligent in treating a 16-year-old accident victim leading to her death, National Consumer Commission, New Delhi, directed to pay Rs 17 lakh as compensation to parents of Anupama Sarkar, who had died in PGIMER in July 2012. The commission had held PGIMER guilty of "negligence in treatment" of Anupama.

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