NCDRC exonerates Apollo Hospital doctors, holds no Negligence in treating patient with Viral Hepatitis E infection,
New Delhi: The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) recently exonerated the Apollo Hospital Chennai and its doctors from the charges of medical negligence while treating a patient diagnosed with Viral Hepatitis E infection.
Such a decision was taken by the top consumer court after it took note of the expert medical board of AIIMS's opinion stating that the doctors had managed the patient appropriately.
Dismissing the complaint, NCDRC noted, "it is difficult to attribute medical negligence against the Opposite Parties. The Complainant failed to prove medical negligence."
The history of the case goes back to 2005 when the complainant's son, the patient, had been admitted to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai. After being examined by the Dr. G. Anant Subramaniam, the General Physician, diagnosed it as a case of 'PUO, high Bilirubin and deranged liver function test (LFT)'.
It was alleged that the doctor did not refer the patient to the liver gastro specialists and continued treatment on is own. However the patient did not get any relief and when the condition of the patient worsened he was again taken to the hospital with acute abdominal pain. The next day the patient was referred to Gastroenterologist, Dr. Radha Ram Murthy, who diagnosed it as a case of 'Hepatitis-E infection'. The doctor prescribed Duphalac 30 ml, which was alleged to be responsible for loose motion in the patient.
Therefore the patient was admitted to the hospital again and consequently the Nephrologist and the Haematologist examined the patient. It was alleged that even though the total WBC count and the platelet count had reduced, the patient was not shifted to CCU till his condition deteriorated.
Apart from this the complainant alleged several other deficiencies in the service of the doctors including unnecessary repeated testing, unavailability of doctors to attend the patient, among others.
The counsel for the Complainant stressed upon the fact that no specific treatment exists for acute Hepatitis -E infection apart from supporting care, but the hospital was treating the patient for commercial illegal gains. The administration of several medicines caused adverse effect and death of his son. Being aggrieved, the Complainant filed the Consumer Complaint and prayed total compensation of about Rs. 5.83 crores.
On the other hand, the Hospital and the doctors submitted before the Consumer Court that at the time of admission the patient was in critical condition as he had been diagnosed with a case of Viral Hepatitis E infection. They pointed out that even though the consultants including Residents and para medical staff were attending him on round the clock duty.
As the Patient showed symptoms of Liver Failure – Disorientation and Confusion, he was shifted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) under the care of Critical Care Group. Regarding the other allegations of deficiencies, they further submitted that even though the condition of the patient was being updated to the doctor time and again, the family was in a state of non-acceptance.
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.