A stitch in time saves nine

  • Posted on: September 09, 2021

The patient accidently slipped from stairs and injured her left arm and shoulder. Little did she know that this accident would damage her left hand permanently. She visited the hospital where a team of doctors attended her and made provisional diagnosis of fracture of left arm and collar bone with rib fracture and osteomyelitis.

The doctors also performed incision & drainage (I&D) to debride dead tissues, but realised that the patient needed better management and hence, referred her to a higher centre. She received treatment at this higher centre, but her hand developed partial disability due to grave nature of injuries.

As it happens in so many instances, this patient too blamed hospital and doctors for her misfortune. It was alleged that the doctors ought to have referred her to higher centre immediately rather than experimenting if they could not provide proper treatment.

The Commission struck down patient’s allegations and observed that the line of treatment adopted by doctors was correct. It was further observed that patient developed acute osteomyelitis due to infected hematoma. It was haematogenous spread of infection that caused osteomyelitis and subsequently chronic osteomyelitis which resulted into degeneration of humerus.

The Commission, dismissing patient’s complain, conclusively observed that since bone grafting became essential, the doctors referred her to the higher centre at appropriate time without any inordinate delay.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 18th June, 2021.