‘Fabricated records to save their skin’

  • Posted on: March 23, 2023

The State Consumer Commission in this case reversed lower / trial court’s order, observing that the doctor and nursing home were negligent in treating a pregnant patient.

The patient delivered a healthy baby boy. However, soon thereafter the child developed complications and died after twenty-two days.

Heartbroken at their loss, parents sued the nursing home and gynaecologist. It was alleged that the baby was a jubilant boy weighing 2.5 kgs at birth, however, sheer negligence on part of the nursing home and doctor caused his unfortunate death.

It was further alleged that when the child was re-admitted, the doctor did little to diagnose the reason behind his weaning appetite. Besides administering saline, no tests were conducted to ascertain the root problem.

The gynaecologist and nursing home stated in defence that upon readmission, the child was found to be grossly under nourished and was reluctant to feed. His skin appeared to be blackish, blood samples taken reported symptoms of septicaemia.

The Commission carefully went through the medical records and observed that:

“The doctor and nursing home have stated that they had taken baby’s blood samples and subsequently he was diagnosed was septicaemia. But as per the bill given by the nursing home, it does not reflect charges for blood tests. Hence it clearly indicates that they never did any blood tests. The said reports are absolutely false and self-manufactured to save their skins”.

“The nursing home has provided a hand written estimate bill amounting to thirteen hundred rupees. From the perusal of records, it appears that several medicines were administered to the baby which would definitely cost more. Hence it is crystal clear that no such medicines were administered. Rather the records were self-manufactured by the nursing home when the patient requested for all medical records”.

Observing from evidence that nothing was as it seemed, the Commission sent the case back to lower court with an order to seek an expert opinion in the matter.

Source: Order pronounced by West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 15th September, 2022.