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Friday, May 31, 2013

Women's panel recommends fresh probe in medical negligence

From BHOPAL: Another case of medical negligence came up before the Bhopal bench of state women's panel on Saturday. According to the complainant, a doctor had left a vaginal pack inside a woman who underwent a normal delivery at the hospital. The panel censured doctors of the probe panel, who had submitted the report without consulting the patient or the doctor -against whom the complaint was registered. A resident of Bhopal, Kajal Puri underwent a normal delivery at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Hospital. However, the attending doctor Dr Suman Mali left a vaginal pack inside her afterwards which was found out by a private doctor. "Even though the woman submitted appropriate papers pertaining to negligence of hospital, the probe committee, did not take them into account. Version of only other hospital doctors were included which resulted in a biased report," said chairperson of State Women's Commission (SWC) Upma Rai. "SWC has recommended that a fresh report be drafted after taking into account views of all parties involved," she said. Meanwhile, registrar of the MP medical council appeared before SWC on Saturday in connection with the death of Tejaswini Bhargava at St Joseph Hospital, Hoshangabad. Her family had also lodged a complaint of medical negligence leading to the death of Tejaswini. "We have prepared certain recommendations in that case. The registrar was told to put a hold on the medical committee's report and present the same along with the recommendations to the ethical committee," Rai said.

Committee to look into medical negligence cases

From BHOPAL: A medical committee would be constituted for cases related to medical negligence at the women's panel. This council would comprise senior doctors from government hospitals who would take a look at each case of negligence individually. This decision was taken at the Bhopal bench of the state women's commission (SWC) on Thursday while hearing a Vidisha district case of medical negligence resulting in death. The applicant in the case Sangapriya Gautam had moved the commission after her sister died during a hysterectomy. The doctors had found that the uterus of the patient and her kidney were close together which is why they had not performed the operation. The commission was of the view that they should have called a specialist in this case and gone ahead with the operation. A total of 11 cases came up for hearing including one of Bhopal. The cases were of domestic violence, domestic violence and physical assault.

New group takes on medical negligence

From HYDERABAD: Increasing cases of medical negligence in the city has led to the creation of the Hyderabad chapter of People for Better Treatment (PBT), a pan-India civil society initiative which helps victims fight unethical medical practice. "Hyderabad has many hospitals and we have received several complaints of medical negligence from the city. It is time we had a Hyderabad chapter," said United States-based doctor Kunal Saha, founder director of PBT which was constituted in 2001 following the death of his wife in 1998 due to alleged medical negligence at a hospital in Kolkata. Unethical medical practices started rearing its head in the 1980s, Saha said. "All doctors take an oath to serve humanity. But the oath has lost significance in last three decades," he said. Several medical professionals also called for reforms in education. "Many medical colleges are functioning without adequate teachers. Teaching hospitals have around 250 students and the duration of the MBBS course has been shortened by a year. It is not possible for one teacher to focus on hundreds of students," said Prof M Naryan Reddy, retired head of forensics department, Osmania Medical College. He said according to Medical Council of India's (MCI) guidelines, the classroom strength should not exceed 150. P Raghuram, director of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, raised the issue of pharma majors offering kickbacks. "MCI has laid down effective guidelines to govern conduct of medical professionals but these need stringent implementation. The subject of medical ethics, which is not a part of the curriculum, should be included in the coursework," he said.

Medical negligence cases on the rise in Andhra Pradesh

From HYDERABAD: Ten years have passed since regional passport officer K Srikar Reddy's wife and unborn baby died during childbirth due to alleged medical negligence in Hyderabad. The senior IFS officer is still hoping that one day, justice will be delivered. The Andhra Pradesh Medical Council, without even conducting a hearing had given a clean chit to the doctor who was involved in the medical botch-up. But Reddy moved the Medical Council of India, and the licence of the doctor was revoked, but just for three months. "It is almost impossible to prove a doctor's negligence. Doctor's don't testify against other doctors and benefit of doubt is given to the doctor and not the victim," Reddy, himself a medical doctor, told TOI. "I was in Delhi when tragedy struck and I lost Srilatha, but I am still hopeful and have filed fresh petitions," Reddy said. Like Reddy, hundreds of others are wondering when they will get justice, if at all. Instances of surgeries going wrong leaving patients disabled, in coma or dead are being increasingly reported statewide. While police are unable to come to a conclusion on these cases, the AP Medical Council, a regulatory body, is not enforcing code of ethics on the registered medical practitioners in the state. Increasing frequency of surgical errors and adverse events during the hospital stay has led to a four-fold rise in medical negligence cases over the last five years. Around 1,500-2,000 such cases are pending in various consumer redressal forums in the state, and relatives of most victims are spending endless days shuttling between court rooms, hoping that the guilty would be punished. In fact, World Health Organisation data shows that one out of 10 patients is harmed in hospitals in developed nations, but the incidence is 20 times greater in developing nations like India. Data from International Society for Quality in Healthcare reveals that the percentage of hospital acquired infections in best of the private hospitals in the state ranged between 7-8%, the figure varied from 15 to 25% in other private and public hospitals. This year, cases of two women dying due to a botched-up abortion in Nalgonda were reported and prior to that a male lecturer and a homemaker died at two city hospitals after liposuction surgeries went awry. Apart from negligence leading to death, cases of wrong diagnosis contributing to worsening of the disease and cases of carrying out unwanted surgeries are frequent in Hyderabad, experts said. Lawyer Devender Rao, who has handled around 50 cases of medical negligence shares the case of a couple that died after a liver transplant surgery due to post operative negligence. "The wife donated liver to her husband but slipped into coma within 48 hours of surgery and her husband subsequently died. She remained in coma for four years and died subsequently," said Rao. Their son filed a case in 2005 and the hearing is still going on at the AP State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. He attributed the rising number of medical negligence cases to poor post-operative care facilities in the hospitals. Experts added that it is a herculean task to prove medical negligence cases in India in the absence of an authorised body like in the developed nations. Once at the hospital, patients are at the doctor's mercy, they maintain. Dr Dayakar Reddy, founder and trustee of Right To Health, said that AP Medical Council is an inactive body that does not exercise its powers. "I had lodged a complaint about a decade ago along with few other members against a doctor. The doctor vanished from AP soon after and when I asked about the status of the case, there is no response," rues Reddy. Meanwhile, RPO Srikar Reddy has joined the People For Better Treatment, a pressure group of medical negligence victims in the state, hoping that a strong forum can help get many people justice. "I hope to set an example for doctors that they should be careful while dealing with patients, who are human beings," Reddy added.

Hospital inspected after medical negligence case

From INDORE: A team of district administration on Wednesday visited Life Line Hospital in connection with the death of a 32-year-old woman Archana Biyani who allegedly died due to negligence of hospital authorities and doctors a week ago. SDM Rajneesh Kasera, CMHO Dr Ashok Dagaria and others inspected the hospital to take statements of the doctors, hospital authorities and relatives of the patients. However, none got their statements registered. Meanwhile, the administration has given time till March 5 to register their written or verbal statement at collector's office. Kasera will be hearing the case. Collector Akash Tripathi had ordered an administrative probe after Biyani's death and hed appointed Kasera as probe in charge. The probe is looking into various angles including circumstances of incidents, medical negligence by hospital and doctors, compliance with Nursing Home Act norms by the hospital and people responsible for the negligence. On February 20 after the death of Biyani, relatives of patients protested at Life Line Hospital near LIG area and raised slogans. They tried to ransack the hospital. The patient was allegedly left unattended on ventilator. The next day, a postmortem was done and a case was registered at MIG police station to investigate the matter.

Chennai hospital to pay Rs 3 lakh for medical negligence

From CHENNAI: A Chennai-based hospital and two doctors have been directed by the apex consumer commission to pay Rs three lakh as compensation to the family of a woman, who suffered brain damage after surgery due to lack of ventilator support and died a few months later. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission's (NCDRC) observed that Janamma Hospital and doctors V R Kanakavalli and Mythili were guilty of medical negligence as they did not take "due care and caution" to ensure that life saving equipment like ventilator was available in case of any complication. The NCDRC also set aside the Tamil Nadu State Consumer Commission's order dismissing the plea of the deceased woman's husband, Chennai native M Rajavadivelu, who had sought damages from the hospital and the two doctors involved in the surgery. "Medical negligence is established because respondents (hospital and doctors) conducted a major surgery under general anaesthesia without taking due care and caution to ensure that critical life-saving equipment like ventilator were available in case of post-operative complications,... "We are unable to uphold order of the State Commission and set aside the same. Respondents are jointly and severally directed to pay the appellant Rs three lakh," a bench presided by Justice Ashok Bhan said. The NCDRC gave the direction on Rajavadivelu's plea challenging the order of the state commission which had said there was no evidence of medical negligence. In his appeal, Rajavadivelu had alleged that due to the medical negligence of the hospital and its doctors, his wife Vijayalakshmi Rajavadivelu had suffered brain damage resulting in her death. The hospital and the doctors in their defence had contended that after the surgery the patient only had some breathing problems and was otherwise stable. The NCDRC, however, rejected the contention saying, "soon after the surgery post-operative complications developed and due to lack of a ventilator the patient developed a fatal complication." Rajavadivelu, in his plea, had said that his wife had been admitted in the hospital in January 1998 for undergoing hysterectomy. After the surgery, she had developed breathing problems and the hospital informed him she would have to be shifted to another hospital for ventilator support, he had alleged. As the process of shifting the patient took more than 10 minutes, during which she was not on ventilator support, she had suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen, Rajavadivelu had alleged, adding that no doctor from Janamma accompanied them in the ambulance. He had also alleged that oxygen was not pumped into his wife through an ambu-bag, which is required for patients with breathing problems and when she arrived at Chennai Kaliappa Hospital she was unconscious and had to be moved to the ICU. Vijayalakshmi died three months later in April 1998, he had said. All these allegations were refuted by Janamma Hospital which had said it had provided the best medical care possible and since it did not have a ventilator, a decision was taken to move the patient to a hospital which had the facility.

Doctor, hospital held guilty for patient’s death

From LUCKNOW: The district consumer disputes redressal forum has held Sewa Hospital Research Centre and Dr Neena Saxena of the hospital guilty of medical negligence and slapped a fine of Rs 4 lakh on them. The forum held that the negligence of the doctor and the hospital resulted in untimely death of a patient, Usha Tripathi. The forum also held the hospital guilty of not conducting the pre-operative tests on the patient and not taking her family's consent for surgery. The complainant Shailesh Tripathi's mother Usha was operated upon by Dr Neena Saxena of Sewa Hospital Research Centre, Sitapur Road, on August 8, 2003, for hysterectomy. The doctor told Shailesh that the operation was successful and that Usha would regain consciousness within three to four hours. But a few hours later, Shailesh was told that his mother had suffered heart attack and would take 12 to 24 hours to regain consciousness. The complainant was also told that Usha needed ventilator support. Since the hospital had no ventilator, Usha was shifted to Harmain hospital the same day in an ambulance provided by Sewa Hospital on Dr Saxena's advice. The neurologist at the hospital after examining Usha said her brain had suffered severe damage due to lack of oxygen supply during surgery. Usha died on August 21, 2003, and Shailesh held the hospital and the doctor responsible for negligence and the untimely demise of his mother in his complaint filed with the forum. Usha Tripathi, after the death of her husband, was drawing pension from the government, and the entire family was dependent on her. Her son Shailesh, who filed the complaint in the consumer forum, said the family spent about Rs 3.5 lakh on Usha's treatment between August 8 and 21, 2003, but could not save her. The forum after perusing the records of both parties observed that the Sewa Hospital did not prepare the proper records of the patient: there was no mention in the documents about the diagnosis of the patient, surgery to be performed and the doctor who was conducting the treatment and surgery. Sewa Hospital also did not take the consent from Usha's son for the surgery. In another major observation, the forum said the hospital did not conduct the pre-operative tests of the patient. As per the medical history, prior to operative gynaecology, it is must to conduct blood, urine, chest and x-ray tests. The forum said the hospital did not manage the situation properly when the patient suffered cardiac arrest and that the patient was not given proper care while being shifted to another hospital.

Medical negligence alleged in boy’s death

COIMBATORE: A five-year-old boy admitted at Arun Hospital in R S Puram for a routine tonsil operation on May 22, went into a coma after the surgery and was referred to Sri Ramakrishna Hospital in Avarampalayam on the same day, where he died on Tuesday, May 28. The boy's father has lodged a complaint with the R S Puram and Race Course police against three doctors for causing death due to negligence. The R S Puram police however registered a case against only one doctor for the same. The deceased has been identified as A Arun Adityan from North Housing unit in Selvapuram. The boy was suffering from an infected tonsil. S Arumugam (36), a gold smith and father of the boy, had approached ENT specialist Dr Nagaraj to have his tonsil removed. The operation was fixed for May 22 at Arun Hospital. Dr Santhanam had administered the anesthesia to Arun. After the surgery, the child went into a coma. "When I asked doctor Nagaraj about the health condition of my son, he began asking me personal questions regarding my caste and marriage. Then he told me that anesthesia was not suitable for people of certain castes and since I had a love marriage, my son reacted adversely to the anesthesia," said Arumugam. The boy's father also said that no one consulted him before they referred Arun to Ramakrishna Hospital for advanced treatment. "I was asked to rush to Ramakrishna Hospital where I met the child specialist Jaleel Ahammed. I was shocked when he told me that my child was dead. Twenty minutes later he told me that they were able to revive him and there was a chance that he would survive this ordeal," he added. Arun received treatment till May 28 when he eventually died. The body has been sent to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) for post mortem. The victim's relatives besieged the hospital. Arumugam lodged a complaint against three doctors, Nagaraj, anesthetist Santhanam and Jaleel Ahammed with the Race Course and RS Puram police station. RS Puram police inspector S Balamurali Sundaram registered a case against the ENT specialist Dr Nagaraj under section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. On Wednesday, the victim's body was handed over to relatives after the post mortem. "The exact cause of death will be known only after we receive the post mortem report. Subsequently, we will conduct an inquiry with Dr Nagaraj and the others involved," said inspector Balamurali Sundaram. Dr Jaleel Ahammed said that when the boy was transferred to Ramakrishna Hospital on May 22, he was in a coma. He was brain dead and the vital organs had stopped functioning. The boy's family suspects that he was administered the wrong dose of anesthesia which led to a heart attack. Arun Hospital management said Dr Nagaraj was only a visiting doctor who used the hospital's operation and the hospital has no connection with the incident.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Delhi High Court rules doctors not responsible if patients do not respond to treatment

Delhi High Court rules doctors not responsible if patients do not respond to treatment From : A Delhi High Court said a doctor cannot be held liable if the patient has not responded favourably to a treatment. The order came out after the court refused to frame charges against two doctors and three nurses of RBTB Hospital accused of causing a man's death due to negligence. Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said a doctor can be held liable for a patient's death only if the negligence so established is gross and not just based upon an error of judgment. The court further said even if the doctors were found guilty in departmental inquiry in the matter, it does not make them liable for criminal negligence as the standard of both the inquiries are different. It added that it was the court's obligation to ensure that doctors and medical practitioners are protected from frivolous and unjust prosecution and they be summoned only in cases of high degree of culpable criminal negligence. The case was filed against the medical professionals on the ground that Attar Mohammad, who was admitted to the hospital on June 26, 2002 in a critical condition, had died on June 29, 2002 due to gross negligence of the doctors and nurses on duty.