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Redressal forum orders Rs 1 lakh compensation

DISTRICT CONSUMER Dispute Redressal Forum has ordered City-based Hajela hospital to pay Rs one lakh as compensation to Zeba Hussain who may never conceive owing to medical negligence at the hospital and its doctors.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 14:46 IST

DISTRICT CONSUMER Dispute Redressal Forum has ordered City-based Hajela hospital to pay Rs one lakh as compensation to Zeba Hussain who may never conceive owing to medical negligence at the hospital and its doctors. 

The 27-year old housewife, a resident of Kamla Park, had to lose her Fallopian Tube due to medical negligence of the hospital.

The victim, who was under treatment for basic infertility at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, approached Hajela Hospital for just a diagnostic investigation.

After hearing both applicant and defendants, the consumer forum observed that for negligence of Hajela Hospital doctors, lack of medical expertise and the severe physical and mental trauma that the patient suffered for more than 20 days just for a simple diagnostic test, compensation of Rs one lakh should be paid to her along, with Rs 2000 towards legal expenditure.

The forum has also invalidated the medical expenses charged by the hospital for the treatment and hospitalisation of the patient.   

Just for a second opinion, Zeba Hussain approached Dr Rajni Hajela at the Hajela Hospital after she was told by her attending gyaenocologist at Chirayu Nursing Home, to go for Diagnostic Laparoscopy and Hystroscopy.

She was admitted at the Hajela Hospital on September 29, 2004. Dr Hajela and Dr Rajesh Sood performed laparoscopy upon her, following which she developed complications. She complained of abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. Next day, when she was supposed to be relieved, the patient’s condition deteriorated.

Consequently, she requested the authorities to keep her in the nursing home the following night. Meanwhile, the hospital authorities handed over a bill of Rs 9,000 to patient’s husband against the agreed amount of Rs 3,100. “Being a Central government employee, I’d sort of written permission from the CGHS and Rs 3,100 was permitted against the diagnosis.

But, hospital authorities told me that I needed to pay Rs 9,000, as drilling of Ovary and Fallopian Tube was done along with Laparoscopy,” says the victim’s husband.

“I was shocked to find that without our knowledge and consent, drilling was performed,” he complained. The defence of the doctors was that “it was the need of the hour”.

Even after performing a second operation, there was no change in patient’s condition. She developed oedema and her Hemoglobin level went below the normal.

The surgeons justified their stand by saying that the bleeding had been due to ‘a cut in the artery, which has been successfully blocked’.

However, the condition of Hussain continued to deteriorate, followed by fever and blood platelet counts drastically going down.

On October 4, Dr Anup Hajela advised for a third surgery, and in consultation with Dr Ravi Gupta, the patient was operated upon and her left fallopian tube was removed. “Still my wife’s condition didn’t show much improvement . Damage was caused to her ovaries and fallopian tube,” her husband alleged.

The victim was finally discharged from the hospital on October 22 and a bill of Rs 47,790 was handed over to the patient’s family. “We just went for a test, but doctors’ negligence and the greed to earn more, landed us in such a trouble,” decried Hussain. 

The complainant decided to move State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. “We’re not content with the language of the order sheet, as the damage caused to the victim is irreparable and we’re approaching the commission to enhance the compensation amount,” Hussain’s counsel Deepesh Joshi told the Hindustan Times.          

Hajela Hospital director Dr Anup Hajela told Hindustan Times that the consumer forum failed to understand the definition of diagnostic laparoscopy. ‘ It was not at all negligence on our part. We did all to save the patient. The fallopian tube was removed in the interest of the patient.  We are moving the State Consumer Commission .If required, we would go up to the national consumer commission against the order.”