Big hospital lacking in system of checks & balances, a big no

  • Posted on: November 17, 2022

A five-month-old baby was admitted at a reputed private hospital with complaints of severe cough and cold with breathing problems.

A nurse, by mistake, gave her Grillinctus syrup instead of giving it to the patient on next bed. She realised her mistake quickly and informed the doctors about it. The little girl was given a stomach wash, followed by a sterile wash.

Thankfully, she did not suffer any complications on account of nurse’s mistake. But the parents were in no mood to let this episode be forgotten.

They sued the hospital and alleged that the staff was untrained and unprofessional.

The hospital authorities did not defend nurse’s mistake. They admitted the ‘human error’ and stated that all necessary treatment was given to the child. In fact, she was discharged in a hale and hearty condition after few days.

It was further stated that the syrup was not known to have any side effects, it was merely a cough syrup.

The Commission did not accept this defence. It was observed that if the syrup was harmless then the hospital staff wouldn’t have given stomach and sterile wash. The syrup was meant for patient on next bed, but given to the child.

The Commission also made another observation, as stated below:

“It is important to note that the management of a hospital involves providing services of doctors and other staff, and also to ensure that proper treatment is provided to the patient. In the present case hospital has not disclosed whether the nurse was a trained one or not. The incident took place because of administration of wrong drug, therefore, the whole system of prescribing, providing and administering the drug comes into question”.

“System of checks and balances was not there to prevent such an incident, it cannot be expected from any hospital moreover not from a big hospital like this one”.

The hospital was held negligent for this human error and ordered to pay one lakh rupees in compensation.

Source: Order pronounced by West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 10th June, 2022.