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Hospital acquired infections and untrained staff may land you in Trouble

Hospital acquired infections and untrained staff may land you in Trouble

Hello !! With the following judgement, I Wish you all a very happy, prosperous and Litigation free { smile emoticon } new year ahead !!!

While negating the charges of Medical Negligence with compensation of Rs. 7 lacks, on the ground of cause of meningitis to a baby due to hospital infection, National Commission imposed damages of Rs.1 lakh towards deficiency in service for want of proper nursing Staff.

The National Commission relied on the judgment of Martin D’souza’s case (2009) 3 SCC wherein their Lordships of Supreme court observed :
“When a patient dies or suffers some mishap, there is a tendency to blame the doctor for this. Things have gone wrong and, therefore, somebody must be punished for it. However, it is well known that even the best professionals, what to say of the average professional, sometimes have failures. A lawyer cannot win every case in his professional career but surely he cannot be penalized for losing a case provided he appeared in it and made his submissions.”
The National commission delivered a common judgment for two Revision Petitions in the case of DR. K.P. MUSTHAFA, Kerala V/s. BEENA RANI & 2 ORS (RP Nos.3745 of 2014 and 3746 of 2014) on 19/11/2015. The Link is as under.
http://cms.nic.in/ncdrcusersWeb/GetJudgement.do…

The Factual matrix in nutshell is as under :
Facts of both the cases are similar. In first case, the complainant, Mrs. Jane Treesa Thomas delivered a baby Boy by LSCS. The new born developed jaundice and subsequently meningitis and it was alleged that the Hospital had no facilities, doctors without diagnosing the disease and without treatment referred the baby to SM Hospital, Kannur. It was confirmed in Vijaya Hospital, Mangalore that the child was suffering from post-meningitis hydrocephalus. Therefore, the complainant alleged that not a single nurse working in the hospital is qualified. There is no cleanliness. The infection was a hospital acquired one.
In a Second case also the baby developed jaundice and subsequently meningitis and the baby was shifted to another hospital.
It was argued on part of the complainants that the Gynecologist did not wait for natural delivery, but opted for caesarean section and both the meningitis infection were hospital acquired. It was due to either from the visitors or the staff of the OP1-hospital and thus, it was deficiency in service which caused hardship and financial loss to the complainants. and several other children born in the Hospital got meningitis infection.

The National Commission after reading the medical record, evidence and after going through the Medical Literature, observed that Proteus bacteria is spread by contact, whereas Haemophilus influenza, is an air-borne infection. Such infections are commonly contracted due to the bystanders or attendants or some visitors. Therefore, we do not find any liability upon the hospital for the meningitis caused to the children.
However it was proved that the Nursing staff was not qualified nor they had undergone nursing and midwifery course in any of the recognized teaching institutions and therefore the commission awarded Rs. 1 Lacks each to both the Complainants holding that it amount to deficiency in service and unfair Trade Practices and it also observed that Hospital Services can be affected for want of qualified Nursing Staff !! !!

Yet another important Judgment for Drs…. Learn from others mistakes or omissions !! The qualified Nursing Staff is a big concern now a days for all the Hospitals…I hope the series of Articles will be beneficial for you all… Thanks for the appreciation, suggestions given by you all !!!

Thanks and Regards
Adv. Rohit Erande
Pune.

You can get a copy of the decision by clicking on the link below

DR. K.P. MUSTHAFA, Kerala V/s. BEENA RANI & 2 ORS

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