A Delhi consumer court has directed city’s Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital to pay R10 lakh to the parents of a child who was given HIV infected blood when he was an infant 14 years ago.
A bench of VK Gupta and Salma Noor held the hospital and doctor Ajay Kumar guilty of medical negligence.
The consumer court bench said, “It was the duty of the doctor and the hospital to examine that the blood is free of any infection. Obviously, there is sheer medical negligence on the part of the doctor and the hospital in not examining and ensuring that the blood does not contain any HIV infection.”
The child’s parents had alleged that their son was never free of ailments subsequent to his treatment at the children’s hospital in 1998. Later, following tests at Safdarjung Hospital, he was diagnosed with HIV in January 2006.
The parents remembered that their son had undergone surgery at the hospital for diaphragmatic hernia when he was a baby and 150 ml of blood was transfused to him.
Calling it “sheer medical negligence” for giving HIV-infected blood to the then three-day-old child, the court ordered the hospital to pay up.
“It is a matter of common observation that it is a very serious disease and a person having this ailment cannot survive long. We hereby direct them to pay compensation for mental agony and harassment to the complainants (parents), inclusive of litigation charges,” the bench added.
The children’s hospital had said the blood was procured from the blood bank of Sucheta Kripalani Hospital, which is affiliated to Lady Hardinge Medical College along with the said children’s hospital, and the blood bank would have conducted necessary screening and testing of the blood.