The Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has given a directive to award a compensation of around Rs.10 lakh to the family of a young woman who had died due to the complications following the transfusion of mismatched blood, while under treatment for infertility at a private hospital here.

The commission directed Samad Hospital, Attingal, to pay a compensation — for medical negligence and deficiency of service — of Rs.9.33 lakh with nine per cent interest from 2003, when the complaint was filed, along with Rs.15,000 as costs to the parents of Sajeena of Venjaramoodu.

Sajeena, 26, and her husband had been undergoing treatment for infertility at the hospital. On August 1, 2002, she was admitted for a laparoscopic surgery to remove a fibroid from the uterus. However, later on the day, following profuse bleeding she was shifted to KIMS Hospital, where she remained in a serious condition till September 4, when she died.

Sajeena's family alleged that she had died following the negligence on the side of the opposite party in transfusing the patient with B-ve blood group instead of O-ve.

They also alleged collusion of both hospitals to suppress material facts and to cover up the negligence committed by Samad Hospital.

Samad Hospital denied these allegations. The patient had undergone surgery on August 1, 2002, and she had been in good condition. The blood transfusion was done at 8.30 p.m. and reactions were observed within half-an-hour.

The patient was shifted to KIMS hospital by 1.30 a.m.

They contended that the patient had died of DIC or Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, a systemic condition which leads to haemorrhage, which was beyond the control of the opposite party.

The commission, after examining the case-sheets and hospital records and taking evidence, pointed out that there was failure on the part of Samad Hospital in implementing the protocol required whenever a blood transfusion reaction occurs.

There was also delay in taking prompt and effective steps to save the patient after observing the transfusion reaction.

The hospital did not investigate the actual reason for the blood transfusion reaction by taking a blood sample from the opposite vein and they failed to forward the balance of the transfused blood to the blood bank, from where it was issued, for investigation.

There was nothing on record to show who had taken the stored blood from the refrigerator or if there could have been a mistake in identifying the proper blood bag.