Assaults on doctors, strikes, deaths – How do we cure these ailments?

  • Posted on: June 22, 2023

The patient suffered severe chest pain; he was rushed to a hospital. ECG was performed which confirmed myocardial ischemia evolving to myocardial infraction. Despite desperate efforts, the patient succumbed to the fatal ailment.

His family sued the hospital. Their main allegation was that medical services were halted on that fateful day due to strike of hospital staff. The patient was not monitored properly for vital signs and was not provided nebulization or oxygen. It was also alleged that injection Azithromycin was administered without a test dose, which resulted in anaphylactic reaction.

The hospital denied administering the injection in a hurry and without a test dose. It was stated that the patient was a known heart patient and had history of COPD. He was already on hydrocortisone – steroids which would have taken care of any anaphylaxis, if at all it happened. A team of emergency specialists were on their toes providing critical care to the patient, concluded hospital authorities.

The Commission perused medical records and observed the following:

“It is pertinent to note that the patient was known case of severe heart disease with chronic lung disease. He was hospitalised several times before being brought to the emergency OPD department. The doctors have provided standard of care - proper medication, oxygen supply, care for COPD and hypoxia was taken. For CCF, proper diuretics were given”.

“Admittedly, there was an altercation between some other patient’s attendants with the staff nurse which led to a strike, but it had no impact on the emergency services. In our view, azithromycin was prescribed for acute bacterial infection. It was given in diluted infusion, not in bolus. The chances of anaphylaxis with azithromycin were remote in the instant case”.

Evidently, the strike had no effect on patient care, but the hospital and its doctors were dragged in lengthy litigation nevertheless. Such incidents, and the altercation which led to the strike, could soon transform the discontent to disharmony in healthcare segment.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 17th April, 2023.

Source : Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Red