Coconut oil & Kapoor for eight lakh rupees!

  • Posted on: August 11, 2022

The patient – a first time young mother – underwent forceps delivery. Unfortunately it resulted into 4th degree tear in the perineum area – the patient lost control over passing urine and stool. She consulted the gynaecologist several times who kept changing medicines but to no avail.

The patient subsequently consulted several other specialist doctors. Eventually perineorrhaphy was performed, after which she received some relief.

The gynaecologist was taken to court by the patient, as she alleged negligence on her part for her prolonged complications.

The doctor denied any mistreatment or negligence and stated that outlet forceps were applied and before applying forceps, episiotomy was made to facilitate baby’s extraction and to prevent stretching of vagina / perineal tear. The episiotomy wound was sutured and the patient was discharged in stable condition. The wound was found healthy during follow-up examinations, further stated the doctor.

The doctor finally stated that the patient never complained about incontinence for six months, and, it was impossible to bear the pain of 4th degree tear for such a long duration.

The Commission perused doctor’s prescription and other medical records before dismissing her defence, as it made following observations:

“Considering the entirety of this case, in our view, there was negligence during outlet forceps delivery. In addition, there was failure in duty of care during post-delivery period. The medical record / prescriptions failed to convince us about proper post-partum care. It is evident that the patient was repeatedly complaining about pain at the suture site but the doctor has simply prescribed medicines, ignored or not carefully examined the suture site for induration or infection, and surprisingly advised to use ‘coconut oil with kapoor’ for about six months”.

The gynaecologist was held negligent and ordered to pay eight lakh rupees as compensation.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 25th February, 2022.