Miot Hospitals was directed to pay Rs. 40 lakh as compensation to the bereaved wife of a State Bank of India officer.

On Monday, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chennai, headed by its president Justice R. Regupathi and member J. Jayaram directed the chairman and managing director and a doctor of MIOT Hospitals to pay the compensation within three months. It held: “The opposite parties have been remiss in dealing with the deceased and they have not done the investigation and diagnostic procedure with reasonable care and diligence; and there has been delayed diagnosis, gross negligence and serious deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties which caused the death of the complainant’s husband.”

The complainant, B. Suvarama Phani of Bangalore, said B.V. Ramana Rao (46), assistant general manager, State Bank of India, Chennai, had undergone on April 6, 2007, an executive health check-up to which bank officials were entitled. He did not go for treatment of any disease or for any complaint. But during the check-up and in the process of diagnostic procedure, he died on April 27.

According to Ms. Phani, after conducting various tests, the staff informed her that her husband had lost eight kg in weight. A CT scan of the abdomen was taken, after which he fell unconscious. The doctor and staff attending on him said the reason was low BP.

The CT scan showed symptoms of mild enlargement of the liver and spleen. The CT scan was conducted by Dr. Maran, gastroenterologist, who said he would be all right after 15 days of treatment. But his weight was decreasing.

Later, they met Dr. Maran who advised a test for TB. Ms. Phani contended that though an x-ray was taken on April 10, it was only on April 21 that the doctor informed them that he suspected TB. On April 26, the doctor told her that her husband had extensive hyperplastic tuberculosis and had developed septicaemia. He was shifted to the ICU and died later.

The hospital and its doctors contended that during the check-up, there was no indication of the disease. The toxins released by the disease had affected various organs, resulting in septicaemia and it would have caused perforation. They denied any negligence on their part.

The Commission noted that the death was not due to TB, but due to septicaemia caused by negligence and negligent handling of the case by the doctor. “There is reliable and cogent evidence on record to substantiate the negligence of the opposite parties.”

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