Decided on January 20,2020

Surjeet Sodhi And Ors. Appellant
Fortis Hospital And Ors. Respondents


M.SHREESHA, MEMBER, J. - (1.) The present Complaint, under Section 12 read with Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short "the Act"), has been filed by the Complainants alleging culpable medical negligence on the part of Opposite Parties, i.e. Fortis Hospital, a Unit of International Hospital Ltd. and Dr. A.K. Singh, Director and Head of the Department of Neurosciences of the Hospital on the ground that the Opposite Party No. 2, Dr. A.K. Singh (for short, "the Treating Doctor") was not present in the Operation Theatre during the Carotid Angioplasty procedure performed upon the Complainant No.1 despite the assurance given by him and as a result of this the Complainant has suffered a major stroke.
(2.) Briefly put, facts relevant for the disposal of the Consumer Complaint are that Complainant No.1 (for short, "the Patient"), aged 73 years old, Second Complainant's wife and mother of Complainant Nos. 3 to 5, was suffering from some neurological problems. She was admitted at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for treatment and was diagnosed with Bilateral Carotid Artery Thrombosis, which was causing more than 90% stenosis due to plaque in RBC and RIC.After discharge from the said Hospital, on 28.06.2006, Complainant No.3, Patient's son, sought an appointment with Opposite Party No.2, Dr. A.K. Singh, (for short, the "Treating Doctor") an expert in the field of Neurosciences working Opposite Party No.1, Fortis Hospital (for short, the "Hospital) in the capacity of Director and Head of Department of Neurosciences, for further opinion and treatment of the Patient.The Treating Doctor advised that the best course of action for the Patient would be to undergo a surgical procedure, i.e., Right Carotid Artery Stenting. He also informed the Complainant Nos. 2 and 3 that the procedure was as simple as Angiography and since the Patient had already undergone Angiography twice, therefore, there was nothing to worry. He further assured them that he was one of the few experts in India in this field of surgery and would manage the risk of emergency during the surgical procedure.However, the Complainants have alleged that the risks involved in the surgery and its management procedure were not explained to them.
(3.) It is averred in the Complaint that having considered the reputation, experience, position, designation of treating doctor and believing that the Patient's life would be in safe and expert hands of the Treating Doctor, the Complainants agreed for the surgery procedure. The Patient was admitted in the Hospital on 06.07.2006 and the Complainant Nos. 2 and 3 (husband and son of the Patient) gave their consent for the procedure. However, it is alleged that the Opposite Parties did not obtain the written Consent from the Patient though she was in a position to give her Consent. Though the surgery was scheduled for 10.07.2006 but the same was suddenly preponed and was performed on 08.07.2006 without any reason being explained to the Complainants. According to the Complainant Nos.2 and 3, the surgery took substantially more time than the time which was informed to them and during this time they were waiting outside the Operation Theatre. It is stated that after passing of substantial time and much pressure from Complainant Nos. 2 and 3, Dr. S. Dua and Dr. V. Gupta emerged from the Operation Theatre and they informed them that because of development of sudden complications during the Surgery, excess time was taken to complete the procedure. However, no satisfactory explanation was given to them about the sudden complication. Upon the Complainants insisting to meet the Treating Doctor, they were informed that he was not present in the Operation Theatre at the time of operation as he had left for some urgent work. It is averred that even the Complainants did not see him coming out of the Operation Theatre.;

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