An old patient dies – Its doctor’s fault, the son cries

  • Posted on: August 30, 2018

The patient, an eighty plus year old man, met with an accident during which his left leg was fractured. He was rushed to Bhattacharya Orthopaedic & Related Research Centre where Dr. Sarkhel diagnosed fracture of the left femur. The patient also had a history of diabetes, hypertension, Parkinson, bronchial asthma and ischemic heart disease. Dr. Sarkhel performed an operation and placed a bipolar prosthesis.

The patient approached the doctor for follow up during which he was diagnosed with respiratory problems and hence was referred to another hospital for better management. What seemed like a mole, turned out to be a mountain. The patient had developed a wound over the operated site and was also diagnosed with sepsis.

A second operation was performed at the other hospital, after which the senior citizen breathed his last. This unfortunate incident shattered the patient’s son. The weight of his loss was too much to bear, or so it seemed, as he approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal, dragging the doctor and hospital for what he thought was negligence on their part.

It was alleged that the need to transfer the patient to another hospital soon after first operation indicated lack of proper care by the doctor. It was further alleged that wound at the operated site post operation also indicated negligence by the doctor. Why would my father suffer post-operative sepsis if the doctor took proper care, questioned the grieving son.

The Commission had the reply. It was observed that the patient was a known diabetic and also suffered from several other ailments. An old patient with a long history of serious ailments is usually vulnerable to post-operative complications. Moreover, there was no evidence or expert opinion presented to prove that Dr. Sarkhel or the hospital were negligent.

The heartbroken son got the answer he was looking for, giving him the much needed closure.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 11th June, 2018