Decided on February 09,2021

Vinod Kumar Dhanda Appellant


S.M.KANTIKAR, MEMBER, J. - (1.) The instant Consumer Complaint has been filed by Vinod Kumar Dhanda, the Complainant under Section 21(a)(i) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 for alleged medical negligence causing death of his mother during treatment at Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre, New Delhi (hereinafter referred to as the "Batra Hospital - the Opposite Party No. 1") and the treating doctor - Dr. Vipul Sud, Surgeon (hereinafter referred to as the Opposite Party No. 2), who was the Medical Director of the Opposite Party No. 1 Hospital and Senior Consultant Plastic Surgeon. (In the Memo of Parties, the Complainant has made Dr. Vipul Sud as Opposite Parties Nos. 2 and 3 for different addresses. However, for convenience we refer Dr. Vipul Sud as the Opposite Party No. 2.)
(2.) The brief facts are that the Complainant's mother Smt. Balwant Rani Dhanda (hereinafter referred to as the "patient") developed a Sacral bedsore and consulted Dr. Vipul Sud, the Opposite Party No. 2 at the Opposite Party No. 1 Hospital, who advised debridement surgery. He assured that the surgery would be in single setup and the patient would be discharged within five days. The patient got admitted in the Opposite Party No. 1 Hospital on 24.11.2012 and on the same day and again on 27.11.2012 got operated by the Opposite Party No. 2. Unfortunately, on 28.11.2012 in the early morning, the patient passed away. It was alleged that the Opposite Party No. 2 treated the patient casually and failed to provide standard care in the Hospital. The Cardiologist clearance was not taken before both the surgeries. According to the Complainant, at the time of admission, the patient disclosed that she was allergic to Ofloxacin, but from the date of admission, Ofloxacin was administered in the hospital on multiple occasions. The patient also disclosed her past history of Atrial Fibrillation (hereinafter referred to as the "AF") and thromboembolism, for the same she was taking drug Dilezem 120 mg and Acitrom 1mg (blood thinner) once a day as prescribed by her Cardiologist. It was alleged that the dose of Dilazim was reduced to 30 mg twice daily, therefore, AF worsened during both the successive surgeries. The patient became unstable and her pulse rate was 150 / min, but the treating doctor did not give medicine Cordarone 100mg to reduce the pulse rate below 100 / min. It was further alleged that after the 2nd surgery on 27.11.2012 anticoagulant Acitrom 1 mg was not administered and PT/INR was not checked regularly, therefore the patient developed bluish discoloration of toes. Despite knowing that it was a sign of thromboembolism, the Opposite Party No. 2 failed to seek an opinion from the Vascular Specialist but called the Cardiac Surgeon, who prescribed Tab. Pletoz 100 mg. It was alleged that though Dr. R. K. Himthani, the Gastroenterologist prescribed injection Lesuride 25 mg three times a day from 26.11.2012, the same was not given. It was further alleged that during 2nd surgery the Ryle's tube was inserted without consent and the position of Ryle's tube, whether it was in stomach or lung, was not confirmed either by aspiration of gastric contents or by X-ray examination. After insertion of Ryle's tube, the patient became unresponsive and it was conveyed to the duty nurse, but the doctor came after 20 minutes. By that time, the patient was already cyanosed and CPR was started. There was no monitoring equipment in the room. The patient was declared dead at 3.15 a.m. due to cardio-respiratory arrest on 28.11.2012, but Complainant alleged that the patient might have died much earlier. It was further alleged that the Opposite Party No. 2 assured that it was a simple debridement procedure under sedation and guaranteed the complete healing of the sacral bedsore, but in contrary, the patient died due to gross deficiency in service and medical negligence of the Opposite Parties. Being aggrieved, the Complainant filed the Consumer Complaint and prayed compensation for Rs. 15 Crores from the Opposite Parties along with the cost.
(3.) The Opposite Parties Nos. 1 to 3 have filed their respective replies and the evidence by the way of affidavits. The Opposite Parties raised preliminary objection on the maintainability of the Complaint for want of pecuniary jurisdiction. Though the Complainant paid Rs. 69,195/- for the treatment, but seeking Rs. 75 lakh towards punitive damages and Rs. 75 lakh for mental agony. The claim was highly exaggerated to bring the Complaint within the pecuniary jurisdiction of this Commission and the Complaint was frivolous and without cause of action. The Opposite Parties denied any negligence or any deviation from the standard medical practice. At the time of admission, bedsore on sacral region noted with slough and sero-purulent discharge and the patient's nutrition was poor. The pulse rate was 100 / min, O2 saturation was 96%. As the patient had previous history of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) the transfusion of more IV fluids was contraindicated. Such patient needs a high protein and high caloric diet for the recovery from infected bedsore. Therefore, nasogastric feeding through Ryle's tube was advised. Care was taken to feed the patient in upright position. The consent for medical treatment and anaesthesia was on record, and it was implied for any procedure during the treatment. Therefore separate consent for Ryle's tube insertion was not taken. The Ryle's tube was inserted by an Anaesthetist and he confirmed proper placement of tube. The entire surgery was done under sedation and the devitalized (dead) tissue from the bedsore was removed, all bleeding points were secured and the dressing was done. Arguments o n behalf of the Complainant: ;

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