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Ranju_9666 (Service)     26 March 2010

Medical Negligence

My sister, aged 47, was admitted to a Nursing home for routine elective surgery after an extensive pre-operative assessment and clearance. She underwent a hysterectomy, appendectomy and repair of a ventral hernia with a prolene mesh on 12/03/2010. She was sent to the SICU (Surgical Intensive Care Unit) for close monitoring. At 06:30 pm, she was stable with a normal heart rate of 80 and a normal blood pressure. From 11 pm onwards, she complained of abdominal pain and distension with a rising heart rate, falling blood pressure and increased respiratory rate. Chart review shows that the RMO (Resident Medical Officer) monitored her every 30-60 minutes from 01:00 am of 13/03/2010. The Anaesthetist, was called for advice at 11 pm of 12/03, 1 am, 1:30 am, 3:30 am, 4:15 am, 4:30 am and 6:30 am of 13/03/10. Every time it was felt that the problems of elevated heart rate, pallor, decreasing blood pressure and decreasing urine output was due to pain and pain medications were administered. Hb / PCV was not ordered till 4:45 am. Haemoglobin results returned at 06:30 am at 4.6 gm/dl where pre-operative Haemoglobin was 11.6 gm/dl. Only then was the blood transfusion started.

 

My sister went into hypovolemic shock from post-operative bleeding and had a Cardiac Arrest at 06:30 am of 13/03/10. She was resuscitated and taken back to the operating theatre for re-exploration and no obvious bleeding source was detected. Consequent to this she went into multi-organ failure – liver, kidney, pancreas, DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation) and did not respond to further measures and passed away at 03:55 am on 16/03/2010.

On examination of the records provided by the nursing home after my sister's demise, some of the concerns that came across were:

1.                  Why was the bleeding not diagnosed earlier despite clinical evidence of post-operative haemorrhage, i.e. (increased Heart rate, decreased blood pressure, pallor, abdominal distension and decreased urine output) ?

2                  Why was there no Critical Care Specialist overseeing the Surgical ICU with authority to override inappropriate orders and assessment when the patient’s life is at risk? Considering the fact that this particular nursing home publicizes Intensive Care Units in their facility, it appears that it is not the norm at for them to have 24-hour Critical Care Specialist(s). This unfortunate turn of events could have been prevented if  the intensive care units at the n.home were correctly staffed with 24-Hour Critical Care specialists as evident with other reputed hospitals/intensive care units in India and abroad.

3                Why was blood transfusion not started earlier?

I earnestly feel that if proper monitoring and necessary actions had been taken that first post-operative day, my sister would have been alive today. Multi-organ failure followed as a consequence of the hypovolemic shock and cardiac arrest.

 

It has been a great shock for me and our family, especially for my sister's 12-year old daughter. I would like to know from my fellow members and experts what actions can I take legally against this medical negligence which I dread to think of happening to another person

 

I am sorry for the lengthy message. But I hope I could explain the situation.

 

Thanks

 

 



Learning

 9 Replies

Ritwick Dave (Lawyer)     26 March 2010

You can file a suit for medical negligence & ask for compensation.

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     26 March 2010

Sir, you can take legal action for medical negligence against the hospital doctors. But the important thing here is, we need to analyse the reports obtained from the hospital along with a doctor so as to know whether there is any negligence part involved in the treatment of the deceased.  We as advocates, can only give legal help after obtaining opinion of an expert in the filed is a must to say a right to sue exists. We cannot analyse the technicalities involved in treatment by ourselves.

RADHA PYARI SRIPADA (ADVOCATE)     26 March 2010

Please surf through this link so that you may get some idea about the medical aspects of your sister's case. Besides as suggested by our advocate friends, it is better if you could consult known doctors for a preliminary opinion. Even otherwise by virtue of the supreme court decision, courts are also directed to refer cases of medical negligence to expert body before issuing notice. But I am not really sure how the courts are going ahead practically. Different courts are adopting different practices. In any case, it is better to do some home work before filing a case.

See the link - https://health.allrefer.com/health/hypovolemic-shock-info.html. You can get more insight.

Radha Pyari.S

Ranju_9666 (Service)     26 March 2010

Thanks for the info. Shall be visiting the link

 

jyotirmaya behera (advocate)     27 March 2010

sir. if there happen any negligence then 1st & most important is u should prove that its a Medical Negligence. if u can prove that then hospital is bound to be give compensation

Kanaksinh P.Boda (Educationist/Lawyer)     30 March 2010

You don't have to worry, as alternative opinions of expert/s are not only difficult to get/understand, and the experts hesitate to give, as is a know fact, still the case can fit in to the category of deficency in service irrespective of proven medical negligence. There is a recent order from the Commission in this behalf.

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     30 March 2010

Boda Sir, will you pl give me the citation for the case..? It will be very helpful for many.

Kanaksinh P.Boda (Educationist/Lawyer)     30 March 2010

Before the District Consumer Forum, Ferozpur. CC no.26 of 15/1/08 . Sarabjit Kaur v/s Dayanand Med. College & ors.

Ranju_9666 (Service)     01 April 2010

Thanks for the info


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