A consumer forum directed Fernandez Hospital and three of its gynaecologists to pay ₹ 5 lakh as compensation and ₹ 1.5 lakh as expenses incurred for a surgery at another hospital to a then-pregnant woman’s complaint. The forum found evidence of negligence on the part of the doctor and hospitals.
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Hyderabad – II was dealing with a complaint filed by P Haritha (28), a resident of L B Nagar. The complainant stated that after getting herself registered at Fernandez Hospital in Boggukunta, she was told to expect a normal delivery in September 2011. On account of ‘vaginal leakage’ she was instructed to get admitted on September 8, 2011.
On the same day, a C-section was performed and the complainant was discharged on September 13. However, on September 27, after she complained of urinary incontinence, the complainant was rushed to the hospital. She was examined by a doctor who advised her to drink plenty of water and was prescribed exercises. Dissatisfied with the diagnosis, she went to Kamineni Hospitals, L B Nagar where she was diagnosed with ‘Urethrovaginal Fistula’ and operated for it.
She claimed that her treatment at Fernandez Hospital was by inexperienced doctors which lead to a tear in the lower segment (cervix and uterus). For their part, the hospital and doctors admitted to the tear and said that it was identified and sutured by its surgeons. They stated that this would not have a bearing on future pregnancies.
They contended that the complainant did not complain of urinary incontinence and maintained that injury can occur during extension of uterine incision to facilitate delivery. The complainant did not return despite being asked. The respondents denied that there was any negligence on their part.
The forum noted that the complainant required immediate ‘surgical care’ and the respondents ‘did not provide her the necessary care’. Based on evidence brought on record, it stated that there is ‘negligence and deficiency in service’.
It also buttressed its observations by citing judgements of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Apart from compensation and costs for the second surgery, the forum imposed costs of ₹ 10,000 on the respondents.