Hospital fined Rs.50,000 for poor post-surgery care

June 9th, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) An orthopaedic hospital here was Monday fined Rs.50,000 for not providing the services of a specialist doctor immediately after a surgery, due to which a patient died. The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Monday slapped the fine on the Ramlal Kundanlal Orthopaedic Hospital for negligence of a patient, Narinder Batra. The patient, Batra, died soon after the surgery as the doctor had left the hospital and when his condition deteriorated there was no expert doctor available.

Justice J.D. Kapoor, president state consumer commission, said, “Whenever any nursing home, hospital undertakes to treat a patient or conduct any surgery on him/her, it is expected to anticipate all future complications and keep the arrangement of all experts in the field ready and any lapse in this regard amounts to deficiency in service.”

Batra, 33, was suffering from hip joint pain and was advised surgery at the Ramlal Kundanlal Hospital. He was also a patient of high-blood pressure.

On Feb 1, 1999, Batra was taken to the operation theatre at 9 in the morning and later shifted to the ward. At that time his blood pressure (BP) was high and it rose to an alarming state.

Despite this, Batra was not taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and no doctor was available. The operating doctor had left the hospital and by the time the doctor attending on him advised that he be shifted to another hospital it was too late and the patient collapsed.

The hospital, in its defence, took the plea that when the patient complained of chest pain he was immediately examined by a consultant who gave him medicines to lower the blood pressure. However, his condition was found to be deteriorating due to rise in blood pressure.

The hospital authorities said that to avoid subjecting the patient to the strain of a shift to the ICU, all the gadgets were brought to the ward itself with utmost speed and everything possible was done to resuscitate and reverse the “unexpected, natural and spontaneous cardiac arrest”. They said the death was not due to their negligence.

Justice Kapoor rejected the hospital plea by saying that knowing that a person has a known history of high blood pressure, the hospital needed to take extra care after surgery. In such a case, the problem which developed after surgery could not be ruled out.

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