Banglore: Holding negligence on the part of a neurologist, in prescribing a medicine that caused side-effects on a 9-year seizure patient, the Bangalore Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum asked the doctor to pay a compensation of Rs 90,000 to a patient.
The case pertained to the treatment of a 9 year old patient, who along with her mother consulted Neurologist, Dr. Vaikunataraju with complaints of neurolgical problems. The doctor adviced EEG for the patient and post the reports, prescribed medicines to the patient. The family of the patient alleged that the doses of the medicine were too high, due to which she has suffered with continuous fever.
The patient’s family then took her to a pediatrician, who referred her back to the neurologist. While the patient had made the pediatrician a party to the case, the forum dismissed the case against him.
The patient was then admitted to St. Martha’s Hospital from 01.02.2014 to 14.02.2014, who admitted the patient for STEVEN JOHNSON SYNDROME after taking T.CARBAONA, the treatment for which costed them Rs 1,00,000. The family pointed out that they could not afford the treatment being a tender coconut seller. Hence the plea with the forum
The doctors in their defense highlighted that Dr. Vaikunataraju, qualified pediatric neurologist treated several similar patients who diagnosed her actual disease which is “SEIZURE DISORDER’ and prescribed the recommended drug of the choice for the particular seizure is “Tab Carbamazepine” which is the drug recommended by the various medical bodies.The correct dosage of a drug is prescribed as per the patient’s body weight and while prescribing the said drug it was duly instructed the complainant and also written on the prescription about the probable side effects of the drug and in case any rashes or fever develops the drug to be stopped immediately, since the ‘Carbamazepine’ tablet is the drug for the particular seizer inspite of side effects.
The Neurologist clearly explained the complainant about the usage of the drug, the complainant
had continued the drug against to medical advice and did not approach him. After consulting several doctors at the belated time met the neurologist then he diagnosed the said side effects caused due to the drug idiosyncratic reactions and advised to stop the drug immediately. The reported frequency of serious carbamazepine hypersensibility reaction is between 1/1000 and 1/10000 new exposure to the drug (Ref– Tennis P, stern RS, Risk of serious cutaneous disorders after initiation of use of phenytion, carbamazepine or sodium valproate, a record linkage study)
He stated that being a child neurologist, after diagnosing the particular problem started the treatment appropriately with correct dosage and explained its side effects and proper advise was given and even written on the prescription, but it was not followed. The allegations of the complainant that very high dosage is incorrect, the side effect will cause to such patients even very low dose also
He also stated that the patient was admitted to St. Martha’s Hospital for STEVEN JOHNSON SYNDROME after taking T.CARBAONA ZEPINE may be true but it is due to the negligence of complainant and belayed diagnosis.
The court reiterated the case and observed
It may be true opposite party No.1 (neurologist) might have written on the prescription if he has informed about the side effects of the drug to the complainant, the complainant might not have continued or used the drug till side effects appeared on the body of the complainant’s child. According to complainant the side effect was caused due to taking the drug but not dosage.
The side effects will cause to the patients even very low dosage is given. When opposite party No.1 was aware of the side effects of the drug T.Carbamazepine he should have avoided giving such drugs to a child.
…. In the present case opposite party No.1 prescribed Tb. Carbamazepine to the girl knowing very well that it may cause side effects. It means that he knows about the resulting damage…..
It is the legal duty of a doctor to exercise due care, injury resulting from the act or omission amounting to negligence. All the documents produced by the complainant clearly establish the case of the complainant and reveals about the deficiency of service on the part of the opposite party No.1.Complainant also produced the photographs of the child which reveals about the pathetic condition of the child and how much she suffered
The Bengaluru II Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum comprising of president T Shobhadevi, members Balakrishna V Masali and V Anuradha, on January 1, 2018, rthen ordered Neurologist Dr Vaikuntaraju to pay Rs 70,000 towards medical expenses, Rs 10,000 towards mental agony, and Rs 10,000 towards litigation expenses