Consumer Court absolves Pediatrician of medical negligence in administering Voveran injection
New Delhi: The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) recently exonerated a doctor who was accused of medical negligence while administering Voveran injections to a patient. Taking note of the fact that the patient was highly diabetic, the bench exonerated the doctor and noted, "The highly diabetic patients are known to suffer septicemia and other complications more...
New Delhi: The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) recently exonerated a doctor who was accused of medical negligence while administering Voveran injections to a patient.
Taking note of the fact that the patient was highly diabetic, the bench exonerated the doctor and noted, "The highly diabetic patients are known to suffer septicemia and other complications more so also cardiac arrest. We do not find any negligence on the part of the Opposite Parties during treatment of the patient."
The case concerned the wife of the complainant who was suffering from fever with joint and body pain. Thereafter she consulted the treating doctor who diagnosed it as a case of "Chikungunya Fever".
It had been alleged that the doctor did not conduct any blood or related investigations to confirm the diagnosis.
The doctor administered Voveran (Diclofenac Sodium) injections in each of the left buttocks. However, the fever didn't subside and the doctor referred the patient to a hospital, where it was diagnosed as severe Diabetes Mellitus with injection abscess. It was alleged that this had happened due to the faulty injection given by the treating doctor.
After this, the patient was referred to a second hospital and she showed extensive cellulitis extending from left iliac fossa to left thigh, gluteal region, and despite treatment, the patient ultimately died.
Being aggrieved, the complainant approached the District Forum, Theni. However, on the other hand, the doctor denied any negligence. The District Forum after hearing the parties partly allowed the Complaint and held the doctor liable for medical negligence. Challenging the order, the doctor approached the State Commission, which dismissed the complaint.
After this, the complainant filed the revision petition before the top consumer court. NCDRC noted that the doctor failed to diagnose chikungunya correctly. Without confirming the diagnosis, he blindly administered voveran injections in the gluteal region on two days, which caused infection and cellulitis and further led to septicemic shock and death.
However, the doctor claimed that the injection was not given in the buttock region. The first injection was given in the left upper arm, and the second injection was given in the right upper arm.
The counsel for the doctor stated that that the Complainant suppressed the facts and it is evident from the discharge summary of the first hospital that the patient took injections in her gluteal region one week back, and then two days before approaching the doctor.
During the course of the treatment, it was diagnosed that the patient was detected to be highly diabetic, which was the main cause of infection and cellulitis. It was further submitted by the doctor that most of the cases of injection abscesses are associated with certain co-morbidities like diabetes mellitus, anaemia, malignancy etc. The injection Abscess will not cause any gas producing organisms and severe septicemia.
After taking note of the submission of both the parties, the top consumer court noted that the treating doctor was a Pediatrician. The Government in its GO dated 22.05.2009 had declared that chikungunya was prevalent in the area and it was suggested in the order to take care of the chikungunya cases on priority.
Taking the medical prescriptions into consideration, the top consumer court noted that the clinical notes of the first hospital revealed that "the patient was in septicemic shock having large area of cellulitis in left buttock thigh region. The patient did not pass urine. She was treated with higher antibiotics."
However, the NCDRC opined that the complainant failed to prove the case that the doctor had given Voveran injection negligently in the gluteal region and caused injection abscess.
Observing that the hospital found the patient to be highly diabetic, the NCDRC bench noted, "Incidentally, at **** Hospital it was found that the patient was highly diabetic. The highly diabetic patients are known to suffer septicemia and other complications more so also cardiac arrest. We do not find any negligence on the part of the Opposite Parties during treatment of the patient."
"The Hon'ble Supreme Court in catena of judgements on medical negligence held that every mishap shall not be construed as a negligence of the treating doctor or the hospital to fasten the liability. In the instant case the case of death was not injection abscess," observed the consumer court as it dismissed the complaint.
To read the order, click on the link below.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.