Indore: A city-based doctor and hospital have been asked by District Consumer Forum to collectively pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh for allegedly leaving cotton swab in the thigh while conducting an operation for gangrene.
The case concerned a patient from Panna District who consulted a doctor after observing his left foot’s second toe was turning black in January 2015. The patient was later admitted to a hospital in Indore from 31st January to 2nd February 2015. The patient was then referred to the Curewell Hospital Private Limited for treatment.
After the check up the patient was told that he had gangrene and so there was a need to remove his toe. The patient underwent a surgery on 4th February when the toe was removed. Four days after the operation, the patient observed blackness in other fingers of the toe.
The patient then approached the Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram where he went operation for the second time on 11th February where his other toes were removed. He was informed that during the last operation a cotton swab was left in the thighs which caused infection in the other fingers of his left leg.
The patient was one again admitted to the Fortis Hospital for the third operation when his entire foot was cut off.
It was further observed that the nerves were shrinking and losing their functions after which he was again admitted to the Fortis Hospital where forth operation was conducted to insert cells to his body.
The patient then filed a complaint in the consumer forum where he alleged that it was due to the negligence of the doctors in Curewell Hospital that he had to lose his foot and had become physically challenged.
The forum asked for the response from the opposite parties in regard to the alleged medical negligence. The doctor denied all the allegation of negligence from their side. He said that the patient came to them when the condition reached a serious stage. He said that ‘no cotton swab was left in the thigh of the patient during the operation’. He further added that there was no negligence but it was necessary.
The Court went through the entire matter and sought expert opinion from MGM Medical College Indore which stated that according to the records provided to by the surgery department, the operation conducted by Dr Baxi was correct. However, at the hospital in Delhi, a cotton swab was found in the old injury.
The forum pointed out that during the second surgery, left femoropopliteal thrombrctomy under GA was conducted. The summary report mentioned ‘Wound Infection in the previous incision “surgical swab” was removed from the thigh incision’.
The forum pointed out that before coming to the Fortis hospital for an operation, the patient already had undergone surgery in the Carewell hospital and the cotton swab that appeared during the treatment procedure was due to the negligence from the side of the opponent parties.
The court stated that even though the discharge summary clearly mentioned that the patient developed chronic gangrene due to which his foot was cut off. Therefore, the leg may have been cut off because of gangrene, not because of the swab. The expert from MGM Medical College Indore clearly mentioned that the operation done at Carewell Hospital was appropriate,however the Fortis Hospital showed the presence of cotton swab during treatment.
In the light of presence of cotton swab, the forum disregarded the expert opinion and directed the doctor and the hospital to pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 10,000 for mental harassment and Rs 1000 against litigation cost.