Jalandhar: Two medical practitioners and a hospital in Jalandhar have been asked to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the husband of a patient by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.
The case goes back to 2014, when the wife of the patient came to Tagore Hospital with complaints of abdominal pain. Her ultrasound revealed that she had Cholecystitis with cholelithiasis with sludge & fatty changes of liver and abdominal lymphadenopathy. After seeing the ultrasound report, the Surgeon,Dr. Ravi Seth told the complainant and his wife that she is suffering from stones and infection in the gallbladder generally known as Cholecystitis with cholelithiasis and that she would require surgery for the same, following which the patient underwent surgery for the same .
The complainant alleged that the surgeon ignored the lymphadenopathy diagnosis, despite the patient undergoing repeated ultrasounds showing the same.
” The significant finding of abdominal lymphadenopathy was totally ignored by the OP No.3 inspite of having knowledge of the same from the very beginning and the patient has been operated without any adequate investigations to rule out the possibility of cancer of the gallbladder which is one of the dangerous form of cancer.” said the complaint.
” Whereas the standard medical protocol is that prior to conducting gallbladder operation, the operating surgeon should first take BIOPSY from any suspicious and enlarged lymph node of the patient and subject it for tests to rule out the possibility of cancer to the patient but the OP No.3 did not bother to do so even during her surgery,” the complainant further added. The petitioner further alleged that no tissue sample was given/sent to pathology after the surgery.
When the patient’s condition did not improve after the surgery, the patient consulted other doctors, who diagnosed her with CA Gallbladder cancer Stage IV after thorough investigations ( CT, PET). However, despite chemotherapy the patient succumbed to the disease in 2015.
Alleging Negligence on the part of the doctor and the hospital, the complainant claimed a compensation to the tune of Rs.20 Lacs only i.e. up to the maximum pecuniary limits of this Forum.
The hospital and the doctor contested the complaint by taking preliminary objections that the present complaint is an abuse of the process of law and moreover, the complainant has come to put before the Forum the record which he tampered, falsified and made to self serve his malafides i.e. tampered the foremost radiologist report dated 24.03.2014 which actually indicated that “No fluid/adbominal lymphadenopathy seen”; the initial word ‘No’ has been kept away from the Photostat machine and the print of the rest has been brought.
Further, they stated that there is no deficiency whatsoever in rendering the service on part of the doctor and the hospital and the wife of the complainant was safe and sound after the surgery, For the patient diagnosed with acute cholecystitis, the definitive treatment only was the surgical removal of the gallbladder and further submitted that the operation of the removal of the gallbladder was the need of the hour, which was conducted with extra care to be given to a patient having passed through incidence of coronary angiography and was suffering from Ischemic Heart Disease.
The court after going through all the records and submissions made by the parties, dealt in detail with the contention of tampered documents. However, it observed that the hospital and the doctor themselves in their submission had submitted some later ultrasounds of the patient acute cholecystitis and cholelithiasis and lymphadenopathy and Opular masses has been reported, which the doctor ignored.
The court held the parties guilty of ignoring the diagnosis and not getting the biopsy done. Quoting previous judgements of similar nature the court directed the hospital, to pay a compensation of Rs.10,00,000/- to the complainant within the period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the copy of order, failing which the said amount will be paid with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of filing complaint till realisation.
Attached is the judgement below