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Failure to diagnose Fetal deformity: Doctors directed to pay Rs 36 lakh Compensation


Failure to diagnose Fetal deformity: Doctors directed to pay Rs 36 lakh Compensation

Jammu: In a recent order passed by the Consumer forum, the court came down heavily on two medical practitioners as well as their scanning centre. The consumer forum asked the doctor couple to pay compensation of Rs 36 lakhs to the complainants on account of missing a diagnosis of fetal deformity in time, besides being guilty of carrying out ultrasound without expertise as per MCI norms.

The case concerns a lady who visited a Udhampur based nursing home having an ultrasound centre during her pregnancy, which was run by the doctor couple. After every test, she was handed over reports which explained that the foetus was developing normally.

Later the child was diagnosed suffering from a brain-related disease after which the parents of the child approached the consumer forum against the two doctors,pointing out that because of the deformity being missed, the mother also did not undergo termination, and as at a belated stage, termination of her pregnancy was not advisable nor permissible, so she had to give birth to an abnormal child who needs nursing and attention round the clock and the process is a lifelong process, quotes the Indian Express.

The complainant informed that experts and qualified radiologists were consulted in this regard and the experts confirmed that the foetus in the womb suffered with “hydrocephalous disease” (cavities in brain), and that it could have been detected earlier if the sonographers/sinologists were experienced and suitably qualified.

The Consumer Court went through the case and sought the opinion of a qualified and renowned radiologist Dr Manisha Langer.

Read Also: VIMHANS told to pay Rs 15 lakh compensation for not detecting cancer on time

Dr Langer told the commission that myelo meningocele can be detected by ultrasound within 15 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. The detection rate improves after 24 to 25 weeks. However, this was not so in the current case

The two-member bench of the Consumer Commission also went through the allegation made on the ultrasound scanning centre and nursing home that mentioned that it was being run “without adequate qualification, expertise and recognition from Medical Council of India”.

Based on the merits of the case, the commission passed an order directing two doctors to collectively pay compensation of Rs 36 lakh.

The commission awarded Rs 20 lakh compensation to the couple for medical treatment, Rs 15 lakh out of the money shall be kept in a fixed deposit for the child. Another Rs 15 lakh was given as compensation on account of pain and suffering undergone by the parents, and Rs 1 lakh as litigation charges.


Source: with inputs
27 comment(s) on Failure to diagnose Fetal deformity: Doctors directed to pay Rs 36 lakh Compensation

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  1. user
    Dr Ramesh vardhan March 23, 2019, 2:18 pm

    DOCTORS WITH OUT REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE WISDOM AND SKILLS CAN BE MORE DANGEROUS TO SOCIETY . UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVE QUITE A LOT OF THEM IN OUR COUNTRY. WHEN MONEY AND INFLUENCE BECOMES THE INDICATION FOR THE TREATMENT , THIS WILL BE OUT COME. THEY ARE LIKELY TO MISS EVEN THE SOMPLEST THINGS . WITH WELL TRAINED HANDS COULD HAVE HIT THE DIAGNOSIS . I DON\’T WHAT KIND OF RADIOLOGIST / SONOLOGIST S/HE TO FAIL TO HIT THE DIAGNOSIS OF HYDROCEPHALUS WITH MYELOOMENINGOCEAL. I FEEL PITY FOR THE PARENTS FOR THEIR PAIN AGONY AND SUFFERING OVER THE YRARS. I HAVE SEEN SUCH A , WHERE THE ENTIRE FAMILY IN DEEP DISTRESS. My CHOICE PREFERENCE & SUGGESTIONS , TIMELY INTERFERENCE TO GET RID OF THE PROBLEMS.

  2. We don\’t expect Gods in doctors.. atleast when u do an anomoly scan, do it with atmost precision n dont give any chances of doubt.
    I don\’t blame all doctors.. I have seen hospitals n doctors completely corporatised who employ a trained sonologist in the place of a Radiologist by which they can reduce their scan centre expenditure…
    Their 1 minute of carelessness = life long suffering of kids and parents…
    Money spent on treatment s a secondary problem.. think of stress n trauma that the child n it\’s family undergo … specially the mother..
    Doctors plz never say \” I did a mistake
    Its toooo tooooo costly…

  3. Most of the patients disturb so much that is become very difficult to concentrate. If doctor say please don\’t disturb than they say he/she is rude, People don\’t even try to understand the importance of concentration during scan. In last all blame is on doctor.

  4. True that mistakes of doctors are really very heavy but if they cease to be human when they become doctors or they become superhumans, so that they should not commit mistakes? do the society has an answer? if anybody can say that the day scan was performed the anomaly was clearly visible? can someone say so ?? Doctors do not deal with files/ money/ material things. They deal with life . when the perform above average you say a life is saved. do you give them one more life in return? do you give them lakhs of rupees or you label them as saints ? No you do not. but one genuine mistake… and people write in this column hang them , take all their money they are murders……. I ASSURE YOU THAT IF THIS TREND CONTINUES NO HONEST/ ETHICAL AND SANE MAN WILL ALLOW HIS KIDS TO BE A DOCTOR. BECAUSE ONE GENUINE MISTAKE AND YOU ARE FINISHED FOREVER. you become murder wore than everyone who murder with intent, in a minute. Those who are not sailing in this sea can easily make comments and decision.

  5. Correctly stated. Meningomyolocele and hydrocepalus should not have been at 18 to 20 weeks scan. Thats a blunder. Yes an anomalus zygos vein.abnormal brainstem vermis angle.absent ductus venosus.arnold chairi malformations may be missed if one is a fresher and has done sonography in hurry.anyway its a harsh judgement as no lawyers. Engineer or administrator is fined for his or her faux pau.

  6. From available information, looks like myelomeningocele with hydrocephalus.
    Should be diagnosed prenatally if done in 2 ND trimester. Basic stuff, nothing advanced.
    Prima facie, good judgement. If someone is not qualified / good at scan, should refer, not become greedy and try to keep scan money also.
    If it had been some rare or difficult to diagnose problem, it would not have been justified.
    However, this is a common condition, easy to diagnose on ultrasound. No question it is negligence.

    Moral of the story- instead of being greedy and try to do things which we are not competent to do, better to refer.

  7. user
    Dr Lalit Kumar Singh March 20, 2019, 7:06 pm

    He is a quack. Must be punished.

  8. user
    Dr Geraldine Sanjay March 20, 2019, 6:57 pm

    How messed up is the thinking of the parents? Terminating the baby for being sick.India needs to revoke the MTP Act & protect babies in the Womb from conception.Murder of babies in the Womb through abortion should stop.

  9. user
    dr santhosh kumar March 22, 2019, 9:16 am

    yes, by detecting an anomaly of baby a radiologist is becoming a part of murder gang. All fetuses have the right to live ( fetal right ). Any of us try to kill our old age parents or grant parents , simply because they are diseased/ bedridden.
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!