Maharashtra: Providing relief to a doctor who had been mandated by a lower court to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the patient on account of medical negligence, the Maharashtra State Consumer Forum overturned the district forum’s order while also observing that the wrong administration of an injection was an accident, not any deficiency in service or medical negligence by the doctor
The case relates to the patient, Vidhyavasini K Rajbhar, who approached Dr Sanjay P Patil on March 14, 2009, with complaints of chest pain. The patient was given an Injection of Diclofenac Sodium in his right buttock for the treatment.
The patient alleged that after getting the injection, he started experiencing pain, tingling and numbness in right lower extremity, for which the doctor gave some ‘remedial’ injection. Seeking no relief, he again approached the doctor on 17th March 2009, as he was unable to walk and lost the sensation of the right leg.
On doctor’s advice, the patient consulted one Neurophysician and also visited a Physiotherapist. He was diagnosed to have right tibial and peroneal nerve lesions with mild sensory motor neuropathy. He was then referred to Sion Hospital where the diagnosis of sciatic nerve lesion was confirmed and the treatment was advised.
Blaming the doctor for his condition, the patient moved to the district forum while also accusing that the gluteal injection was given by a compounder of the doctor and due to that only, he had suffered the injury. On this, three witnesses also submitted their affidavits that they were present when the injection was given and also heard the patient saying that the compounder gave him the injection.
The patient also contended that he was working as a driver at that time and due to the injury, he had lost his job. The doctor categorically denied the allegations before the forum stating that he himself had given the injection and the patient had giddiness which he treated appropriately. Later on after observing the sensorimotor problem in the right lower extremity, he referred the patient to neurophysician of the Sion Hospital.
The District forum came to the conclusion that it was because of the wrong method of administration of the gluteal injection; there was damage to the sciatic nerve on the right side. Holding the doctor guilty of negligence, the forum directed him to pay a compensation to the tune of Rs. 3 lakh with the interest rate of 10% per annum to the patient.
Aggrieved by the said order, the doctor filed an appeal with the Maharashtra State Consumer Forum.
During the hearing before the State Commission, the doctor submitted, “There was right sciatic nerve injury due to percolation of the drug to the sciatic nerve. This was an accidental injury.”
The doctor markedly opposed the patient’s submission that the injection was not administered by him; also, the compounder had filed an affidavit stating that he had not given the injection. The doctor further contended that the three eyewitnesses didn’t visit his clinic that day as there was no entry of their names in the register maintained by the clinic.
The doctor clearly stated that He had followed the standard practice of giving the injection and once the complication took place accidentally, took all the steps necessary to treat the complication. His advocate also submitted that as per the Bolam test the doctor has exercised the ordinary skill and followed the accepted standard practice. The Learned advocate also submitted that the expert opinion given by Dr.C.S.Kambli, BSc.MBBS, states that there are inherent risk factors of giving an injection in patients with poor muscle mass.
Considering the incident as an accident, the bench presided over by justice D R Shirasao with presiding Judicial Member Dr S K Kakade stated,
“One can get such injury even at the best hands, due to various factors discussed by the expert opinion.n. As the doctor recognised the injury immediately and took steps to treat the same, he has followed accepted practice and used ordinary skill needed. We disagree with the learned Additional District Forum that there was medical negligence based on the affidavits of witnesses and the concession certificate later obtained by the complainant. Hence, we hold that there is no deficiency in service given by the doctor to the complainant and no medical negligence on the part of appellant doctor
….In view of the above discussions and all the submissions and record, it is hereby concluded that the complainant is not entitled to the compensation.”
Attached is the judgement of the decision