Decided on March 20,2006

SURESH GUPTA Respondents


J.D.KAPOOR, J - (1.) THIS is the most unfortunate case of medical negligence which resulted in the death of small child of
(2.) 1/2 years who was taken to the O.Ps. only for micro stitches on the minor injury on his forehead and after being put under anaesthesia he never regained consciousness and died within three days. Through this complaint, complainant has sought Rs. 10,00,000 (Rupees ten lacs) as compensation. 2. Complainants son Master Ankur, who was 2 1/2 years old suffered minor injury on his forehead on the evening of 27th May 1991. He was given immediate attention at the clinic of Dr. M.M. Sharma, K -Block, Lajpat Nagar by way of three stitches. As ill luck would have it, apprehending possibility of visible scar the complainant took his son to Delhi Plastic Surgery Clinic on 29th May, 1991 of which O.P. Dr. Suresh Gupta is owner Surgeon. He advised micro stitches. The unfortunate child was admitted in the hospital at 10.00 a.m. under anaesthesia with ╦ťKetamine injection and was taken to operation theatre and after 20 minutes was brought out after giving stitches. The anaesthesia was given by associate doctor/O.P. No. 2 -Dr. (Mrs.) B. Kaur. Since the condition of the child was deteriorating and the child was not regaining consciousness, complainant and his wife got disturbed. Complainant contacted Dr. Kaur by telephone at her residence and requested her to visit the hospital immediately. She took her own time and came at 3.30 p.m. i.e., one hour after the call. She merely assured that there was nothing to worry and the child was safe and ordered for the I.V. Glucose bottle. She did not explain the cause of not regaining the consciousness. At about 4.30 p.m. Dr. Suresh Gupta returned to the nursing home. On peristent requests, he came but said nothing nor did he give any other treatment.
(3.) AT about 5.00 p.m. when the complainant decided to take the child to some other hospital, Dr. Suresh Gupta told the complainant to wait since Dr. Madhav Suri, Neurologist was called by him from Defence Colony to see the child. Dr. Suri came at about 6.00 p.m. and discussed the case with Dr. Suresh Gupta and Dr. (Mrs.) Kaur inside the room and made them to wait outside. Dr. Kaur had also come and joined the discussions. Dr. Suri later assured us that the child was safe and there was no danger. He gave examples that the consciounsess could return after 12 to 15 hours and advised us not to leave. He took the consultation charges of Rs. 300.00 from the complainant and left. Dr. Kaur also left the nursing home without waiting for child to regain the consciousness. Since they were advised and assured by Dr. Suresh Gupta and Dr. Kaur about the safety of the child and they as medical specialist were supposed to have known the condition of the child better, they stayed on. At 3.00 a.m. on the night of 29/30.5.1991 child developed breathing trouble, they called Dr. Suresh Gupta who resides there in the nursing home but he got annoyed and on our persistent request came but instead of doing anything scolded us that we are lay people and know nothing and went away saying that there was nothing wrong with the child. At about 5.00 a.m. that night when breathing problem worsened and Dr. Suresh Gupta was requested again, then child was taken to operation theatre. Dr. Kaur also called and joined Dr. Suresh Gupta in the operation theatre at about 5.40 a.m. Dr. Suresh and Dr. Kaur panicked and for the first time realised the gravity and called Dr. Arya of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital from where the ambulance was called and we were told that they were shifting the case to intensive care unit (ICCU). In critical condition the child was shifted at 8.15 a.m. on 30.5.1991. The child remained there upto the end in unconscious state and on 2.6.1991 at 11.40 a.m. under the treatment of Dr. Arya. Cause of death was shown as Cardio -respiratory arrest. It did not mention the actual cause of arrest. Cardio -respiratory arrest is the mode of death and not the cause of death which was not mentioned in the death certificate. They had to pay Rs. 11,376.00 the bill of Ganga Ram Hospital when they handed over the body of the child.;

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