Lawyer Death due to Dengue: HC directs SRN Medical College to pay Rs 25 lakhs for gross medical negligence
Allahabad: Treating the letter written by a senior lawyer to one of the judges of the court as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the Allahabad High court has directed SRN Medical college to pay a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs to the family of a young lawyer who succumbed to dengue on account of Gross Medical Negligence. The court also released a series of directions to the State Government and its functionaries to ensure timely and effective care for dengue patients in the state
In his letter, the lawyer alleged about the insensitivity that had been shown by the doctors in not rendering medical assistance to a young practising lawyer who unfortunately had to lose his life. Responding to the same, the court in an earlier hearing asked the state government to conduct a proper enquiry and file reply on the matter. The court also sought responses on the various strategies taken up by the state government for prevention and control of the dengue and chikungunya.
The matter was brought up in recent hearing when the court went through the enquiry report as well as the affidavit filed by the petitioner challenging the contents of the enquiry report
The case concerned a lawyer, 23 years old had been brought to SRN Medical College with a history of fever, headache and altered mental sensorium. He was diagnosed with viral fever and treated with 'broad spectrum antibiotics'
Based on the affidavits filed, the court held negligence on part of the hospital
It is evident that Piyush Mishra, the patient, was suffering from dengue but in the S.R.N. Medical College, he was diagnosed viral fever and was prescribed 'broad spectrum antibiotics' in dengue fever. It is also clear from the averments made in the reply, which is un-rebutted that no Radiological, M.R.I or Glasscow coma scale analysis (GCS) test was done for the patient. The platelets count of the deceased was 20000 cells/ml; kidney and liver were badly affected, serum cretinine level was 4.3 mg/dl and liver report indicates that the liver was functioning abnormally.
The court in detail, went through the pathology report and noted
From the aforesaid report, it is clear that without any proper diagnosis the treatment of the deceased was undertaken. From the record, we find that the patient was not treated for dengue fever. In our opinion, from the affidavits mentioned above, we are satisfied that death of Piyush Mishra was caused due to gross medical negligence on the part of the doctors of S.R.N. Medical College as the patient was not provided any treatment for dengue. In fact the deceased was not properly diagnosed and for the said reason, he died. It is stated that when the condition of the patient become critical, the petitioner has shifted him to Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute, (S.G.P.G.I.) Lucknow where unfortunately, the patient had died. The death report issued by Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute, (S.G.P.G.I.), Lucknow is on record in which the cause of death has clearly mentioned as “dengue shock syndrome ARDS”.
The court refuted the contents of the enquiry report that held no negligence on part of the doctors
In the enquiry report, it has been mentioned that the patient was hemodynamically unstable hence on 28.10.2016, the father of the patient against the medical advise discharged him and there was no negligence on the part of the doctor. However from the report of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute, (S.G.P.G.I.) Lucknow it was shown that the diagnosis from the local doctor was wrong as the patient was suffering from dengue, whereas he was diagnosed in S.R.N. Medical College as “fever with shock with Thrombocytopenia with MODS (Multi Organ Dysfunction Syndrome)” for which 'broad spectrum antibiotic' was prescribed.
The court also pulled up the government on the allegations that there was no facility of dialysis in the S.R.N. Medical College, noting that while the state medical college has only 4 functional units of dialysis, a private hospital has provided 30 dialysis units to use in Government hospital at Allahabad.
The court held gross negligence on part of the hospital and doctors
.....in the present case, the doctors of S.R.N. Medical College has made the wrong diagnosis and they administered 'broad-spectrum antibiotic' to the patient which is not prescribed in dengue fever as discussed above in the direction of State Government, which is on record, in which it is clearly mentioned that antibiotic should not be given to dengue patient.
In view of gross medical negligence on the part of the doctors of S.R.N. Medical College and in peculiar facts and circumstances of the case that a practising Advocate of this Court has lost his only young son, who was also an advocate, we assess the compensation of Rs. 25,00000/- (Twenty Five Lakhs) as mentioned above, which shall be paid to the petitioner within six weeks from today......
Besides this, the court issued a series of directions to the state government for control of vector-borne diseases in the state
(i) All the District Magistrates of the State shall be responsible for compliance of these directions and they shall ensure that preventive measures mentioned in the “The Uttar Pradesh Prevention and Control of Malaria, Dengue, Kala-azar and any Vector Borne Disease Regulations, 2016” and work plan prepared by the State Government for control / prevention and rescue of dengue and other vector borne diseases i.e. 'Dengue and Chikangunia Prevention Plans -2016-17' be complied with strictly.
(ii) In the affidavit filed by the Principal Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare, it is mentioned that in several districts of State, 37 SSH's Lab (Sentinal Surveillance Hospital) which have been established for test and
investigation of dengue and chikangunia patients, should function efficiently under the supervision of Chief Medical Officer and overall supervision of District Magistrate.
(iii) For the supply of blood and platelets of dengue patients, 39 blood separation units, which have been established in the State of UP, should also function as per the direction, strictly in terms of directions issued by State Government and the affidavit filed by Principal Secretary.
(iv) In Allahabad, SSH's Lab (Sentinal Surveillance Hospital), which has been established in Motilal Nehru Medical College and 03 blood separation units, should be made functional efficiently. Any negligence in its function shall be viewed seriously and necessary action shall be taken for negligence.
The Chief Medical Officer, who has been appointed by the state government as Nodal Officer, is charged to ensure the compliance of the directions issued by this Court.