The apex consumer commission has asked a private hospital in Kolkata and two of its doctors to pay Rs 12 lakh to a man whose wife was left paralysed below her waist after a C-section surgery in 2010.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) held Zenith Super Specialist hospital and its doctors guilty of medical negligence and dismissed their revision plea against a state commission order denying them any relief in the case.
"As per the medical protocol, the hospital and its doctors on receiving the MRI report were required to take immediate remedial steps... From the discharge certificate issued by the hospital, it is clear that they failed to undertake immediate decompression surgery or to refer the patient to some competent neurosurgeon.
"The delay of four days in our considered view has proved fatal and aggravated the treatment of the patient which obviously is a case of grave negligence," the apex consumer bench headed by President Justice Ajit Bharihoke said.
According to the complaint filed by Tapan Kar, his wife Gopa underwent a C-section on December 15, 2010 and delivered a boy but after the surgery, her lower body got paralysed.
The complainant alleged that the patient was administered anesthesia in the spinal cord before the surgery. However, on regaining consciousness after delivery, she complained that her lower limbs were paralysed and there was no sensation at the time of passing urine and stool.
The team of the doctors decided to undertake an immediate MRI and took her to a specialist centre, the report of which was received three days later, it said.
It alleged that the doctors at the hospital treated the patient till December 23, 2010 and then referred her to another institute of neurosciences where one more surgery was conducted.
When the doctors there told the complainant that his wife might not recover completely, he lodged a complaint.
The district forum had allowed the complaint and asked the hospital and its doctors to pay Rs 12 lakh to his wife, for causing permanent disability and loss of sensation from waist to toe and causing permanent mental pain and agony till her death.
The hospital had denied negligence and claimed that they had rightly administered anesthesia in the spinal cord of the patient.