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4 Days delay in Remedial steps costs Hospital, Gynaec, Anaesthetist Rs 12 Lakhs

4 Days delay in Remedial steps costs Hospital, Gynaec, Anaesthetist Rs 12 Lakhs

“4 days delay in taking remedial steps proved to be harmful to the patient and it jointly costed Rs. 12 lakhs to the Gynaec, Anesthetist and the Hospital “

Case Details :

DR. SUTAPA DASGUPT & ANR, KOLKATA V/s. TAPAN KAR & ANR. REVISION PETITION NO. 315 OF 2016, decided on 18 May 2017. This revision is directed against the order of the State Commission West Bengal dated 30.10.2015 in first appeal No.FA/142/2013.

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Facts in short.

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1.The wife of the Complainant i.e.Ms. Gopa Kar (patient) was admitted for delivery of baby by C-Section at Zenith Super Specialty Hospital on 15th December, 2010.

2.On the same day, she was administered anesthesia by the Petitioner No.1 Doctor in her spinal cord and thereafter caesarean section surgery was conducted and she delivered a male child.

3. But soon after regaining consciousness after delivery the patient had complaint that her lower limbs were paralyzed and there was no sensation before or at the time of passing urine and stool.

4. The MRI was conducted on 18th December, 2010 and she was treated for 2 months in the same Hospital, and thereafter she was refereed to Bangur Institute of Neurosciences for removal of clotted blood. The patient had to take physiotherapy by spending Rs.6000/- per month. Hence the compliant.

5. The Doctors refuted all the contentions. It was stated that the Doctors also rightly administered anesthesia in the spinal cord of the patient.

Held :

1. The National Commission dismissed the Revision Petition filed by the Doctors and upheld the order of District Forum.

2.It observed that the administration of anesthesia in the lumber region is a blind process in which possibility of injury to blood vessel resulting in hemorrhage cannot be ruled out. The court observed

As per the medical protocol, the hospital and its doctors on receiving the MRI, as MRI confirmed the evidence of epidural and subdural hemorrhagic collections anterior to the spinal cord, were required to take immediate remedial steps like surgical decompression of the cord. The delay of 4 days proved fatal and aggravated the treatment of patient which obviously is a case of grave negligence.

The Doctors and the Hospital were jointly held liable and responsible for paying the Compensation.

In general, in other professions, delay may be compensated in monetary terms, but in Medical field, the loss to the patient because of delayed treatment can never be compensated in monetary terms. I feel as far as this case is concerned, Medical experts can only throw proper light on the facts..

Thanks and Regards

Adv. Rohit Erande Pune. ©

You can read the full judgement by licking on the following link


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above article are solely those of the author/agency in his/her private capacity and do not represent the views of Medical Dialogues.

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4 comment(s) on 4 Days delay in Remedial steps costs Hospital, Gynaec, Anaesthetist Rs 12 Lakhs

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    Dr Prakash Badkamkar June 4, 2017, 9:32 pm

    formation of clot while doing lumber puncture is an accident. It is neither intentional nor negligence. The honourable court has accepted that it is a blind procedure. So anaesthetist can not be held liable for bleeding. Only point is that fresh neurological deficit ie- paralysis of both limbs and loss of bladder bowel control after patient regained consciousness even otherwise demands urgent find out the cause. This view of the court is correct in my opinion. Whether patient had improved or not after the treatment
    is another issue. But not taking reasonable care for the paralysis i.e. doing MRI immediately is held by the court as negligence.

  2. There are many people doing lumber puncture and many are unqualified like technicians some are doctors but all are not anaesthetists . I fined God very strange that leads to such problems with qualified people only but not with Quacks . Theoretically deranged B.T,C.T or P.T of what ever the reason [ETIOLOGY] can lead to the extradural collection of hemorrhage . But this should not be considered as negligence . If the patient has been diagnosed properly and subsequently operated then matter should be closed, as ultimately this is not negligence . This will not stand in higher courts . Judges are also not well informed or well versed and they pass judgments without a cool thought and which depicts poor application of mind .

  3. Spinal anesthesia is the appropriate technique for Caesarean section, but as mentioned the possibility of epidural haematoma is there, especially if platelets are low or clotting is deranged. The effect of spinal anaesthesia lasts for 2-3 hours. If there is no recovery by this time there should be a high index of suspicion and spinal imaging should be done followed by decompression . A delay of even a few hours leads to permanent neurological damage, as happened in this case.

  4. The anesthetist is not responsible as these complications are written in books and a few days delay should not be a cause for blaming the anesthesiologist.Clots resolve by them selves too after about 14 days.What does the judge know about all this in medicine.Delay is not the exact reason to fine an anesthesiologist.also there is no gross negligence or rash treatment in the process.Case must be reconsidered at higher courts