Tamil Nadu

SHRC recommends ₹10 lakh compensation for medical negligence during childbirth

Woman, infant died after nurse tried to manage delivery in the absence of doctor

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Wednesday recommended the payment of ₹10 lakh as compensation to a man, whose wife died after a nurse attempted to assist in the process of childbirth in the absence of a qualified gynaecologist at a Primary Health Centre in Erode district. The newborn also died in the incident.

SHRC acting chairperson D. Jayachandran recommended that a sum of ₹5 lakh be recovered from the respondent, Dr. S. Vijayalakshmi, an assistant surgeon who was attached to the PHC in Vijayamangalam at the time of the incident. The Commission also recommended disciplinary action against her. According to the complainant, B. Raj of Perundurai taluk, his wife Kanchana had registered her pregnancy under the National Health Mission scheme at the Primary Health Centre in Vijayamangalam and underwent periodic check-ups during 2018. When she visited the PHC after developing labour pain on November 11 that year, the respondent informed her that she was ready for delivery.

However, when the patient visited the PHC again the same afternoon, she was told that the doctor had gone to Chennai, and that the nurse would have to administer the delivery. During an inquiry, it came to light that the nurse had called the respondent over the phone and had explained the complexity of the pregnancy to her, but the latter still did not return to the PHC.

The procedure was ill-administered by the nurse, leading to the patient being shifted to another PHC at Thingalur, which refused to provide treatment. The patient was eventually taken to the government hospital in Erode, where the doctors declared her and the infant dead.

The Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of a media report in December 2018 and had called for a report. The woman’s husband submitted a complaint against the respondents in September last year.

The SHRC also recommended disciplinary action against all four members of the Special Maternal Death Audit Committee.

Mr. Jayachandran asked the State government to strictly monitor the presence of doctors to provide delivery care on a 24x7 basis in all PHCs across the State. He further recommended that a duty chart in Tamil, with mobile numbers, be displayed in all PHCs, and that the authorities should make random calls and undertake surprise visits to PHCs.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 7:11:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/shrc-recommends-10-lakh-compensation-for-medical-negligence-during-childbirth/article30805464.ece

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