A consumer forum directed an orthopedic surgeon to pay Rs3 lakh to a patient who had undergone a hip implant, and held the surgeon guilty of medical negligence for using sub-standard implant material.
“Doctors are expected to take the highest degree of precaution in using proper material for implant in human body,” the Additional Pune District Consumer Disputers Redressal forum observed, and directed Dr SY Kulkarni to pay the compensation to Suhas Bhandare, who said he suffered unbearable pain for 15 months after undergoing a surgery for a hip fracture in 2004, conducted by Kulkarni. Bhandare said he had to ultimately undergo another surgery to replace the hip implant of sub-standard material. Bhandare had approached the consumer forum alleging that the surgeon used sub-standard implant material and also forgot to put a key screw, because of which the fracture did not heal.
The doctor, however, contended that there was a manufacturing defect in the implant material, which he could not be held responsible for. He said that he had obtained the patient’s consent before surgery and had given him a hint of the possible complications.
The consumer forum discarded the defence stating that the doctor had taken the final decision about the quality and brand of the implant.
“It is doctors’ duty to ensure that the material used for implant in human body is of highest quality,” the forum observed. The forum added that obtaining the patients consent about possible post-surgery complication cannot absolve the doctor of medical negligence.
The forum was also irked that an expert in the field of Metallurgical Engineering had termed the implant material unfit for use in the human body and did not meet ISI standard.
The forum directed Kulkarni to pay the compensation, along with Rs3,000 towards cost of litigation to the patient within a month.