D.APPA RAO, J. -
(1.) THE case of the complainants in brief is that, complainant No. 1 is the father, complainant No. 2 is the mother and complainant No. 3 is the wife of late Azeezur Rahman who was working as a software engineer in M/s. Infotech Enterprises Ltd., Hyderabad on a salary of Rs. 2,35,045 per annum. While so, on 17.10.2003 at about 9.30 a.m. while going to his office on a bike he fell down and sustained simple fracture with displacement in radius of the left forearm, and was treated as out -patient at NIMS, Hyderabad. The doctors at NIMS advised surgery. Since he had a medi -claim policy, and was under the impression that the treatment in private corporate hospitals would be good, he got admitted in opposite party No. 1 hospital. On 18.1.2003 opposite party No. 2 Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon examined the deceased advised him to undergo the operation. Accordingly, opposite party No. 2 performed open reduction and internal fixation of fracture with DCP on the ground that he had comminuted fracture of left radius. Just before the operation due to pre -anesthetic drug reaction the patient had acute respiratory depression. In spite of it, opposite party No. 2 performed the operation. Post -operatively the patient had hyperthermia, more than 1030F fever, and passed blood in the urine. The investigations revealed that there was kidney damage. Though opposite party No. 2 informed them that the presence of myologlobulin was the reason for red coloured urine post -operatively, the report in this regard dated 19.10.2003 found to be negative. On 21.10.2003 urinary catheter was removed though he complained of scanty urine output. Opposite party No. 2 advised him to take plenty of water. Opposite party No. 2 has neither consulted the Nephrologist nor referred to nephrology treatment. When he had loose motions and vomiting, opposite party No. 2 referred to a Gastroenterologist, who without looking into previous investigations, prescribed high doses of Ofloxacin 800 mg per day. It led to further kidney damage. Without conducting further investigations, he was discharged on 23.10.2003 observing that his condition was satisfactory with an advice to continue the tablets. When he had breathlessness, and could not pass urine, he was readmitted on 25.10.2003. Dr. D.P. Bansal, Consultant Pulmonologist and Critical Care Medicine, on the request of opposite party No. 2 examined him and diagnosed as renal failure. He was put on ventilator and haemodialysis was conducted. On 26.10.2003 at 12.30 p.m. Dr. D.P. Bansal declared him as dead. All this was due to negligence, and carelessness on the part of opposite party No. 2 in diagnosing, and treating him all through. He spent about Rs. 76,891 towards hospital bills. In view of his premature death, they have sustained loss. In all they claimed Rs. 75 lakh towards loss of earnings, Rs. 5 lakh towards mental agony together with interest and costs.
(2.) OPPOSITE parties 1 and 2 filed separate counters, however, taking the very same pleas, denying the averments made in the complaint word by word. They alleged that before conducting the operation for Open Reduction and fixation with a plate, the anesthetist recommended that the operation should be performed with regional anesthesia. Complainant No. 1 the father of the deceased himself was a Government doctor and senior Pulmonologist. He was present all through. At his instance the operation was performed with general anesthesia. The opposite parties had no role in administering general anesthesia. The pre -operative investigations revealed that all the parameters were normal. On administration of pre -anesthesia drug Fentanyl he developed drug reaction leading to respiratory depression. The anesthetist intubated the patient and gave supportive medicines. He came out of the drug reaction. He was ready and fit for operation. The patient had suffered from malignant hyperthermia after the operation was performed. It was attended to by the anesthetist. Certain susceptible patients possess a genetic pre -disposition for development of malignant hyperthermia, which is not manifested, they are exposed to triggering agents. Complainant No. 1 did not indicate that his son had reaction to Fentanyl. He was put into ICU. The hospital had continuously monitored the patient. He responded to the treatment. Opposite party No. 2 had no role subsequent to the operation. After catheter was removed, there was adequate urine output. Since he had developed symptoms of nausea, vomitings, loose motions, etc. a Gastroenterologist was summoned. He treated the patient well. There was regular checkup. The surgical wound was well healed. Since his father intended his son to be taken to his house, he was discharged on 23.10.2003. On 25.10.2003 when the patient was again brought he was admitted. He examined him, and found that he was suffering from rapid heart rate and had shallow respiration. He prescribed emergency X -ray of chest which revealed accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Accordingly, a Pulmonologist was summoned. Eminent doctors had attended on the patient, however died of massive cardiac arrest on 26.10.2003 in spite of best efforts. The death had nothing to do with the operation performed by him. There was no complaint with regard to the surgery conducted by him. There was neither negligence nor deficiency in service. They gave reply to the notices issued by the complainant in this regard. The complaint was filed only to blackmail opposite party No. 1 to get more money. The opposite party hospital is fully equipped to attend to the critical care patients. They have given right treatment to the best of their ability. Opposite party No. 2 has professional indemnity policy from Oriental Insurance Company. Therefore, they prayed for dismissal of the complaint with compensatory costs.
(3.) THE complainant in proof of their case filed affidavit evidence and filed Exs. Al to A25. Refuting his evidence affidavit evidence of opposite party No. 2 as RW1 and affidavit evidence of Dr. K.V.R. Murthy, opposite party No. 1 as RW2 was filed and Ex. B1 case sheet was marked. The points that arise for consideration are:
(1) Whether there was any negligence on the part of opposite parties in conducting surgery and treatment in their hospital?
(2) Whether the complainants are entitled to compensation and if so to what amount?
It is an undisputed fact that Azeezur Rahman, a software engineer aged 29 years met with an accident on 17.10.2003 at 9.30 a.m. and sustained fracture of radius left fore -arm. Immediately, he was taken to NIMS, Hyderabad at 10.40 a.m., where he was advised surgery. On his request he was discharged. The complainants had admitted him in opposite party No. 1 hospital on 18.10.2003. He was examined by opposite party No. 2 Dr. Ramesh Chandra an Orthopedic Surgeon, and performed open reduction and internal fixation of fracture with DCP on the ground that he had comminuted fracture of left radius. While undergoing post -operative treatment he died on 26.10.2003 at 12.30 p.m.;