The district consumer disputes redressal forum has asked local Vardaan Medical Centre to pay Rs 5 lakh penalty to a Hoshiarpur family for the death of a woman allegedly due to negligence in performing a fibroid surgery.
Balwinder Singh, a resident of Manjhpur village, Hoshiarpur, husband of deceased Davinder Kaur, her father-in-law Swaran Singh and mother-in-law Nirmal Kaur had lodged a complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act on July 10, 2008, against Vardaan Medical Centre surgeon Dr Lakhwinder Singh, gynaecologist Dr Sonia Kamboj, owner Dr Vareesh Kumar and anaesthetist Dr Monika Goel.
Amrik Singh Saini, counsel of the complainant, said Balwinder and Davinder Kaur were married since 1997 but were childless. “An ultrasound was conducted in December 6, 2007, and they were told that there is a fibroid of 2.1cm X 1.9cm dimensions in the uterus of Davinder Kaur. The couple was told that Davinder was not bearing child just because of this fibroid and it had to be removed immediately to avoid complications,” he said.
Balwinder said they also contacted Dr Rajnish Arora of Arora Diagnostic Clinic in Gurdaspur and got the ultrasound scan of the abdominal region of his wife, which revealed that uterus was normal in size and no abnormal mass was seen.
“We also approached Kamal Hospital, Kishanpura, in Jalandhar where she was examined for fibroid in the uterus. The doctors told us that egg in the uterus was of normal size and there was no fibroid in the uterus,” he added.
The complainants again approached Vardaan Medical Centre on January 19, 2008, to show them the report of Arora Diagnostic Centre and requested them to have a third opinion but they were told that there is no need for a third opinion.
The doctors further told that that if they want to save the life of Davinder Kaur and want to have a child they must give their consent for surgery to remove the fibroid from the uterus and asked them to submit Rs 25,000, which was immediately arranged and deposited in spite of the fact that the complainants were not mentally and otherwise come prepared for the surgery.
However, no receipt was issued by the opposite party to the complainants for the payment received by them.
Balwinder claimed that Davinder Kaur was taken to the operation theatre in haste at about 10 am without conducting any preliminary investigation required before the surgery.
“At about 1.30 pm, a nervous Dr Lakhwinder came out of the operation theatre. Then after one hour, Dr Lakhwinder again came out and told us that the patient should be taken to some other hospital as they are not having ventilator and proper equipment to overcome the condition,” he added.
They took the patient to Shri Ram Cardiac Centre at Joshi Hospital of Dr BP Sharma where the patient was declared brought dead.
“As per the post-mortem report, the uterus surface was still not cut and, therefore, it was sent for histopathology examination report,” he said, adding that the report stated that there were no fibroid contents in the uterus.
Balwinder had also told the doctors that his wife was allergic to sulpha-drugs, which were clearly noted down by Dr Sonia Kamboj. Dr Vareesh Kumar said he had never met the complainant and his wife and the scan was instead conducted by Dr Sonia.
In their reply to the forum, the doctors claimed Davinder Kaur had develop cardiac problem, which occurs in one in thousands cases.
The forum found that due to doctors' negligence the complainants had a great loss. Keeping in view all the facts, the forum asked the medical centre authorities to pay a consolidated compensation of Rs 5 lakh as litigation expenses to the complainants within one month, failing which, they shall be liable to pay interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of order till payment.