Common response to a rare occurrence

  • Posted on: May 25, 2021

The patient, a young girl, experienced piercing abdominal pain. She was taken to a local hospital where she was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. The doctor performed laparoscopic appendectomy but the pain didn’t subside and hence, she was taken again to the hospital, and subsequently referred her to a higher centre.

Intra-abdominal abscess was diagnosed and removed at the second hospital after which the patient was relieved of pain.

The young girl’s father sued the first doctor and alleged that he did not perform CT scan or ultrasound to confirm if there were any post-operative complications.

Having perused the higher centre’s discharge summary and medical literature, the Commission rejected allegations and stated the following:

“Intra-abdominal abscess occurs rarely after laparoscopic appendectomy and is strongly associated with complicated appendicitis. Moreover, operative findings of second hospital did not show any injury to small bowel, stomach or any internal organs”.

“The stump of appendix was normal. The purulent turbid fluid in the abdominal cavity was due to peritonitis-infection without any injury to the bowels or internal organs. The infection or abscess in the peritoneal cavity was not due to any negligence or any shortcoming during the laparoscopic procedure. The treating doctor correctly diagnosed the case and treated as per the accepted standard practice”.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, on 1st April, 2021.