New Delhi: The apex consumer commission has directed a hospital in Chennai to pay Rs three lakh for medical negligence which led to the death of a 15-year-old boy in 2000.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) upheld the Tamil Nadu state consumer commission’s decision dismissing the Billroth hospital’s appeal while asking it to pay Rs 10,000 as legal cost besides the compensation.
A district forum had in 2006 directed the hospital to pay the compensation to Chennai-resident R Vijaylakshmi for wrongly diagnosing and treating her son for measles, instead of Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), a life-threatening skin condition that is usually caused by a reaction to drugs.
The hospital, which was held guilty by the forum, had moved the state commission against the order but was denied relief again.
The hospital contended that the forum and the state commission had erred in holding the hospital guilty and said that as soon as they diagnosed the disease, they ensured the service of a dermatologist.
The NCDRC bench headed by its President Justice D K Jain held the decision of the State commission which observed.
“Thus, by going through the oral evidence of Dr. V.R. Janaki, as well as case records, we are of the considered opinion that the patient has been wrongly diagnosed, resulting isolation, leading the condition of the boy worsening, failure to put the patient in ICU, which would have prevented the aggravation of the patient’s condition, administered wrong drugs to the patient, suspecting Chicken Pox/Measles, failing to detect Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis at earliest point of time, by engaging the service of the Dermatologist, thereby, allowing the health condition of the boy to be deteriorated, though they have charged more than 70,000/- as fees, which will come clearly within the meaning of medical negligence, and deficiency in service, warranting compensation. The District Forum considering all these facts as well as mostly relying upon the oral evidence of the Dr.Janaki, reached a correct conclusion, that the opposite parties have committed deficiency, preceded by medical negligence, administering wrong medicines, for which, they are directed to pay a moderate sum of 3 lakhs, that too, for the death of young boy aged about 15, which cannot be considered, as exorbitant or arbitrarily or on the higher side. For these reasons, the Appeal deserves to be dismissed as not meritorious.”
According to the complaint, the boy was admitted to the hospital on July 11, 2000 and doctors gave him treatment for Measles but two days later the doctors diagnosed TEN disease.
The dermatologist, who was treating the boy, told the NCDRC that early diagnosis of TEN would have definitely helped to save the patient.
Read the full Judgement Below