Child dies after MR vaccine shot at Chennai Hospital: Rs 2 Lakh Compensation ordered
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Government has been directed by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the father of a pediatric patient who died soon after being administrated with the Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccine.
The case goes back to 2018, wherein, the vaccine administrated by doctors at a Chennai Hospital had allegedly caused the death of the 5-year-olf girl.
Based on a newspaper report published on May 5, 2018, D. Jayachandran, a member of SHRC took suo motu cognizance of the incident. This step by the commission was followed by the submission of a proof affidavit against the hospital before the commission by the deceased's father.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, the child was administrated with the vaccine around 11 am on May 2, 2018. Claiming that before taking the vaccine the girl had no health issues, the father alleged that only 15 minutes after taking the vaccine, the patient started complaining about breathlessness and severe burning in the eyes. Soon, the child fainted and was taken to the emergency ward by the hospital staff. The parents allegedly got no permission to visit their daughter and the next day the child was pronounced dead.
Following a complaint with the Flower Bazaar Police Station, the father claimed that the reason for his daughter's death was medical negligence on part of the assistant professor and other hospital staff. Along with a demand for suitable action against the hospital and the doctor, the complainant had asked for a compensation of Rs 10 lakh, adds The Hindu.
The hospital, however, denied all these allegations. TOI adds that assistant professor at the Institute of Social Paediatrics, the dean and the head of the department at the institute denied charges of medical negligence and irregularities.
Claiming that the child had developed only anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), which had been treated immediately, the hospital and the doctor further mentioned that the MR vaccine was a multi-dose vial. They further contended that 20 other children had been administrated the vaccine from the same vial on that day and there had been no other complications, adds TOI.
The respondents denied the charges of not letting the parents see their daughter.
After taking note of all the arguments of both the parties and examining their documents including the report of the Director of Medical Education (DME), Chennai, the Commission observed that the materials on record clearly had shown that the child died due to an adverse event that followed the MR vaccination at the Government Hospital.
The Hindu quotes the statement of the Commission noting,
"However, it is not in dispute that the child died due to pulmonary edema with pneumonitis and acute tubular injury of the kidneys. But the respondent has not produced any document to show that the child died due to an individual immune response to the vaccine. Further, the respondent has not produced any document to show the records pertaining from January 2018 to December 2018, though they have vaccinated 428 children with the MR vaccine, except of the deceased child D.G. Thanishka."
It further pronounced,
"Therefore, the death of the deceased child D.G. Thanishka caused irreparable loss and much mental agony to the complainant on this aspect. Therefore, considering the pathetic situation and also on humanitarian grounds, on behalf of the respondents, the Government of Tamil Nadu is vicariously liable to pay compensation to the victim child's father/complainant. Therefore, this Commission is of the opinion that a sum of ₹2 lakh to the victim's father should be awarded to him."