Advances of allegation halted, end-stage cancer held responsible

  • Posted on: 22nd April, 2021

An 84-year old patient was admitted to the hospital with bedsore in his back and pain in left groin. He also suffered from several comorbidities. The USG test of liver reported stage-IV cancer and other tests also pointed to primary stage cancer of colon or lung.

He suffered a cardiac arrest after four days and unfortunately died the same day.

The patient’s distraught daughter sued the hospital and doctor, alleging that they failed to correlate rise in blood fibrinogen level and other parameters and did not consult other specialists such as oncologist, haematologist and urologist. It was further alleged that the doctor failed to diagnose and control urinary infection.

The hospital and doctor presented their side of the story. It was stated that the patient was admitted with severe weakness, general debility and malnutrition. It was further stated that the patient’s haemoglobin and albumin levels were low and he was immobile due to prolonged poor nourishment.

The Commission perused medical records and stated the following: “The doctor, a cancer specialist, diagnosed lung cancer with liver metastasis and urinary sepsis. Because of poor prognosis there was no scope of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Therefore, he suggested supportive care. It is pertinent to note that the patient’s condition started deteriorating very fast in spite of being under cover of two antibiotics. He developed cardiac arrest in presence of the doctors and despite all resuscitative measures he passed away”. “The doctor examined the patient and kept him under treatment of a team of doctors including two oncologists. The patient already had prostatic problem and urinary infection. He developed uro-sepsis due to prostatic problem. Such patients with general debility are prone to urinary complications. In our considered view, patient died due to advanced cancer with lung and liver metastasis”.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, on 5th March, 2021.