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Lack of Preoperative ECG: NCDRC directs 3 doctors to pay Rs 2.7 lakh

Lack of Preoperative ECG: NCDRC directs 3 doctors to pay Rs 2.7 lakh

New Delhi: Lack of ECG and assessment of the cardiac condition of the patient before the operation as well as lack of proper documentation in CPR notes costed three medical practitioners, when they were held guilty by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held them guilty of medical negligence and mismanagement leading to the death of a 25-year-old patient.

The apex consumer forum directed three doctors to pay Rs 2.7 lakh for “gross negligence” and “mismanagement” that led to the death of a woman after she suffered a cardiac arrest during an operation and slipped into a coma and never recovered from it.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) said that it was a “serious lapse” on the part of the doctors to not assess the woman’s cardiac condition before the operation.

A bench of presiding member Anup K Thakur and member C Vishwanath upheld the district consumer forum’s order asking Doctors Desai, Shah and Jigneshbhai Shah of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to pay Rs 2.7 lakh to Mustafabhai Ibrahimbhai Salar for the death of his wife, Memunaben Salar.

Read Also: Medical Negligence- Supreme Court overturns NCDRC decision, directs hospital to pay Rs 15 lakh compensation

According to the complaint, Salar (Age 25 years at that time) was admitted to Ahmedabad’s Samved hospital on October 20, 2004. She suffered a cardiac arrest during the surgery the next day. She was shifted to another hospital where she remained in a coma till her death on November 18, 2005.

The tribunal overturned the state consumer commission’s order and said that once cardiac arrest takes place, its management is an important aspect in reviving the patient and the operation notes speak of cardiac massage being given but there was no mention of the time taken to get the heartbeat back, a delay in which could lead to hypoxic damage as it happened in this case.

“The respondent (doctors) ought to have mentioned the duration of cardiac arrest, especially when the condition could not be revived neurologically. All this indicates that the complainant’s wife went into subsequent conditions because of gross negligence and mismanagement on the part of the respondents,” the bench said.

Read Also: Misleading Advertisements, Overcharging on Angioplasty: NCDRC fines Gurugram Hospital

It also said that the doctors, knowing that cardiac arrest was a known complication of spinal anaesthesia, should have taken an ECG to conduct a thorough pre-operative check-up of the patient and her heart.

“As seen from the record, last ECG was conducted way back on May 25, 2004. The present operation is an elective operation and was not done on an emergency basis. The respondents had all the time to do thorough investigations before taking the patient to the operation theatre. They should have taken another ECG after her admission in the hospital and on assessing her cardiac status proceeded with the operation.

“Failure on the part of the respondents in not assessing the cardiac condition of the patient before the operation is certainly a serious lapse on their part, knowing full well that cardiac arrest is a known complication in spinal anaesthesia,” the bench said.

Source: with inputs
25 comment(s) on Lack of Preoperative ECG: NCDRC directs 3 doctors to pay Rs 2.7 lakh

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  1. No not Required…… If clinical evaluation does not warrant high risk, no ecg should be asked for in young pts. If court justifies ecg, then what is the role of clinical examination? Can it justify that thelist of investigations for a 5 yr, a 25 yr old and a 65 yrar old be same? Those who say yes ,are not clinicians ,and may not understand the importance of clinical evelaution

  2. user
    Alauddin Tungekar February 25, 2019, 9:16 am

    Dictum of medical treatment is first DO NO HARM to the patient and then the question arises why elective hysterectomy in 25 years old pt?

  3. Ask the patient.

  4. There appear to be no professional standards required to pass a diagnosis of negligence in any medical misfortune. The statement/opinion of any lay person appears to be adequate. There do not appear to be any professional opinions sought by the learned court to arrive at the conclusions that they have made.
    There appears to be a need for \”no-fault\” compensation for patients who suffer known albeit rare complications of procedures performed in hospital. Some kind of formal organisation to protect professionals are really a needed to protect the profession from arbitrary , ill-informed and draconian decisions that will destroy all professionalism in this field.

  5. This patient must have some cardiac issues as she has ECG done 5 months before this surgery of hysterectomy. I hope the medical team has taken into consideration this history

  6. There are no well laid out protocols or guidelines set by the medical fraternity in our country.Each medical practitioner is the master to himself.You can always expect such accidents to happen and the patients being compensated by authorities who have the least knowledge about medical practice