Decided on September 29,2008

A.P Vidya Vidhana Parishad Area Hospital Appellant
Kunja Kondamma Respondents


D.APPA RAO, J. - (1.) THIS is an appeal preferred by the opposite parties against the order of the Dist. Forum, Khammam in directing them to pay Rs. 1 lakh with interest @ 9% p.a. from the date of complaint till the date of realization towards medical negligence.
(2.) THE case of the complainant in brief is that she is a resident of Thallagommuru of Khammam district. Her marriage took place on 14.2.2000. She gave birth to a caesarean female child on 21.12.2002 at Jayabharathi Maternity Hospital, Bhadrachalam. When she became pregnant for the second time in the year 2003, she got checked up with expert doctors. They informed that she and her child were safe and normal. When she got labour pains on 10.6.2004 at about 10.00 a.m. she admitted in Area Hospital, Bhadrachalam the 1st appellant by paying user charges of Rs. 400. Dr. Jhansi Laxmi Bai, Civil Assistant Surgeon, who is the sister of Dr. Jayarami Reddy, Medical Superintendent, advised them to go for ultra sound scan of gavis uterus from M/s. Vikrant Scanning Centre, though such facility was available in the very hospital. The report revealed that weight of the boy was 2.838 kgs and his age was 36.3 weeks and the last menstruation was recorded as 26.9.2003. It shows that the child was in good health. Having satisfied with the scanning report, both the doctors referred to above, informed that caesarean operation was required for which she consented. She gave birth to a male child. They advised her to undergo family planning operation as both the mother and child were safe. Accordingly, she gave consent. The family planning operation was conducted. Later they informed that the child was suffering from lung infection as a result of amiriotic fluid aspiration. They arranged oxygen till 13.6.2004. The oxygen was removed on the ground that he recovered. On 14.6.2004 Dr. Venkateswara Rao examined the child and instructed the staff nurse to immediately arrange oxygen. The nurses did not carry his instructions. At about 12.00 noon when she complained, the doctor instructed the nurses to administer oxygen but they in turn told him that the oxygen was exhausted. At about 12.30 p.m. the child died. When questioned, they came up with false version that the boy born was premature.
(3.) SINCE she convinced with the version of the doctors, that the male child was healthy and normal, she gave consent for family planning operation. She cannot conceive any more. She lost her only son. The death of her child besides making her to undergo family planning operation amounted to deficiency in service as well as negligence, and therefore claimed a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh. Appellant No.1/Opposite Party No. 1 filed counter adopted by Appellant No.2/Opposite Party No. 2 denying each and every allegation. They alleged that the complainant and infant baby were treated in the hospital for free of charge, and therefore the complaint was not maintainable. The duty doctors attended on the complainant treated her and her child with all due care and caution. There was never any negligence on their part. An amount of Rs. 300 was collected for the drugs and medicines needed at the time of surgery. In view of her previous history having underwent caesarean section, Dr. Jhansi Laxmi Bai the Gynaecologist admitted her. When she complained labour pains, the doctor was of the opinion that the height of uterus is less for term. The scanning reported showed that single live foetus of age 36.3 weeks, a pre -term baby boy born before 37 weeks of gestation. Her expected date of delivery was 3.7.2004. She was having active uterine contractions and high leakage of membranes, and as such the doctor performed caesarean section, after informing her and obtaining consent. The family planning operation was done along with caesarean operation with her consent and that of her husband. She had taken incentive amount producing the income certificate. They did not pressurize her to undergo family planning operation. Appellant No. 1/opposite party No. 1 the Superintendent of Hospital was not aware of her admission nor the caesarean operation performed on her. Immediately, after delivery in the case sheet the Gynaecologist wrote ABGAR score. The anaesthetist also mentioned the said fact. He mentioned that the baby boy was born pre -mature with lung infection. On 8.6.2004 the oxygen was supplied, continued till the date of death of her baby. The allegation that oxygen supply was exhausted is not true. There was ample stock. In view of physiology and anatomical handicaps associated with early birth and low birth, certain disorders tend to occur more frequently in pre -term than in normal infants. In addition a pre -term is more severely affected by any disorders than the term infant. The pre -term babies are more commonly effected with respiratory problems due to, (1) poor development of lung, (2) weak thoracic cage, (3) weak respiratory center, (4) R.D.S. surfactant deficiency, (5) poor or absent cough reflex. The death of the boy was occurred due to pre -term lung infection and not because of any negligence on their part. The compensation claimed was highly excessive and baseless. Therefore, they prayed for dismissal of the complaint with costs.;

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