TAMIL NADU

Consumer forum slaps fine on private hospital

Staff Reporter

ERODE: District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Erode, has found a private hospital guilty of negligence of duty and deficiency in service and has slapped a fine of Rs. 5 lakh.

The forum awarded the compensation to K. Suppannan and S. Govindammal of Vijayamangalam, who lost their son, Magudapathi, aged 15.

The couple’s complaint was that their son’s school rushed him to the hospital’s Perundurai branch on July 2, 2005 after he complained of severe back ache.

Doctors at the Perundurai branch administered pain killers, then suspecting stomach problem went in for X-ray of kidney, urethra and bladder and followed it up with an X-ray of spine.

As the doctors found no abnormality they administered analgesic and shifted Magudapathi to the hospital’s Erode branch.

At the Erode branch, doctors went in for an abdomen scan and as the scan did not reveal any abnormality and the boy continued to suffer, they shifted him to the Coimbatore hospital.

Magudapathi reached the Coimbatore hospital at 4 p.m. on the day and soon after his arrival doctors there took him to the emergency ward.

Doctors on duty who attended on him said as there was nothing to warrant an emergency treatment and patient would recover in a couple of days.

The doctors then referred the boy to a senior doctor, during whose examination he collapsed at 6.30 p.m., the parents have said and charged the hospital with negligence of duty.

Diagnosis

“At all the three centres [Perundurai, Erode and Coimbatore], the doctors who attended on the patient failed to diagnose the actual cause which was troubling the patient. None of the doctors applied their mind and as such were unable to diagnose clinically the actual cause of the back pain and the suffering.”

The parents have also said, “... the doctors wrongly diagnosed the patient for various disorders relating to stomach pancreas, ulcer and appendix and failed to infer that the patient suffered from aneurysm of aorta and later rupture of the aorta resulting in blood flowing to the lungs.

A chest X-ray of the patient would have clearly revealed the anomaly and proper treatment could have been administered.”

The parents further said that the chest X-ray report, which the hospital claimed it had taken, has not been produced. In its counter, the hospital said that the X-ray of the chest and abdomen revealed no abnormality.It also denied the parents’ allegation.

Based on the documents submitted by the parents and the hospital, the forum said,

“The act of the hospital in not performing the proper diagnosis to find out the real cause of the suffering of the boy has meant that the hospital failed to detect the real cause of the pain and that amounts to negligence and deficiency on the part of the hospital.”

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