Consumer Forum orders Wochkardt Hospital to pay Rs 20 lakh for negligence causing patient’s death

Nagpur: In a land mark judgment, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission asked Wochkardt Hospital to pay Rs 20 lakh, with 9 per cent interest along with litigation expenses of Rs 20,000 for medical negligence causing death of the patient.

The complainant Anil Gupta submitted that his wife Mamta was admitted to Wockhardt Hospital on August 2, 2011 as she was suffering from headache. After CT scan, it was discovered that she was suffering from hydrocephalus. She then underwent a surgery conducted by Dr Shailesh Kelkar on August 11, 2011. Her condition had improved and was scheduled to be discharged on September 4, 2011. However, on the suggestions of doctors, Mamta was sent for scan, a day prior to her discharge. While shifting her on bed she was dropped by the hospital staff.

Gupta accused the hospital of negligence where staff meant for cleaning of floors was summoned to shift her. Further, none of the doctors was present when the patient was handled, Gupta alleged. After falling on the ground, the VP Shunt installed during the surgery, was dislodged and patient’s condition deteriorated, Gupta alleged.

In spite of repeated requests, neither specialist doctors attended the patient nor was the CT scan conducted till midnight. The patient suffered internal injury and developed a clot in the brain.

Counsel for complainant Adv Tushar Mandlekar argued that negligence of hospital caused the life threatening injury to Mamta. After developing the clot, the hospital did not give her correct treatment and did not conduct the surgery immediately. On September, 21 -2011 when her condition worsened she was subjected to another surgery.

In spite of specialist doctors like Dr Ajay Sakhare, Dr Ajay Kurve, Dr Ankur Jain, Dr Shailesh Kelkar treating the patient she could not be saved and died on December 12 2011.

The hospital argued that Mamta was already suffering from cancer and was taking treatment from Dr Anand Pathak since 2011 and she died due to cancer. The hospital filed affidavits of Dr Divik Mittal (Neurosurgeon), Dr Bhushan Nemade (Oncologist), Dr Saurabh Bilala (Neurophysician), Dr Amit Dhakoji, Dr Ajay Kurve, Dr Shailesh Kelkar (Neurosurgeon), Dr Ankur Jain along with affidavits of Sunil Sahastrabuddhe Centre Head, K Sujata and other hospital staff.

Mandlekar argued that hospital committed gross medical negligence in giving treatment to patient. There was a delay of 17 days in calling neurosurgeon and giving treatment causing her death, he contended.

Adv Mandlekar assisted by Adv Rohan Malviya while Adv Geeta Handa Khanuja argued for Wockhardt Hospital.