Holding Delhi-based Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre guilty of "medical negligence", the State Consumer Commission has asked it to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to a 69-year-old woman who developed Hepatitis B after being infused infected blood during her cardiac bypass surgery.
"The evidence leads us to conclude that it was because of deficiency in service or negligence on the part of staff or technicians (of the hospital) while testing the blood that a unit transfused to the complainant resulted in causing HB virus," said Justice JD Kapoor, President of the Commission, adding the amount be paid in a month.
Allowing the complaint of one Harbans Kaur Chawla, a resident of Chandigarh, the Commission said, "Because of having Hepatitis B disease, she is leading a crippled and isolated life and physically she always feels exhausted and tired and is leading such a life because of the negligence on the part of hospital."
The Commission, however, absolved doctors who had transfused the blood to Kaur during her bypass surgery.
"In such cases, the doctors cannot be held responsible if the blood received by them from the blood bank of the hospital after the due test.... It is the hospital which is liable for deficiency in service or negligence," it said in a recent order.
Kaur, a heart patient, was admitted to the hospital for undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting in 1995 when she was transfused four units of infected blood.