Court sees red as doc implants expired lens

  • Posted on: March 12, 2018

Any procedure or surgery, no matter how small, ought to be taken seriously. And taking a fitness certificate before performing the same is very important. While most doctors know and adhere to this fact, some practitioners for unknown reasons do not take this seriously, as this case demonstrates.

Ramesh needed a cataract operation of the left eye and hence he approached Dr. Chheda who performed the same. The patient was called for follow up during which he complained of blurred vision. Dr. Chheda advised eye drops, but to no avail. Vision in Ramesh’s left eye didn’t return to normal. He also noticed swelling around the eye. But the most worrying thing he noted was the date on the packet of lens used during the operation. The lens had well passed the expiry date!

Despite repeated tries when Dr. Chheda didn’t respond to the query, Ramesh approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra and alleged the doctor of using expired lens.

The Commission, it seemed, was aghast at Dr. Chheda’s conduct. While the patient had only claimed that the lens used was expired, the Commission made other worrying observations.

It was observed that the doctor didn’t insist for a fitness certificate before performing the cataract operation despite the fact that patient had a history of diabetes and hypertension. To this, the doctor stated, albeit casually, that cataract operation is a minor one and hence, he thought it was alright to perform it without a fitness certificate. This careless defence proved to be the proverbial nail in the coffin for doctor as the Commission quashed it immediately and stated that no matter how big or small the procedure, a fitness certificate must be obtained before performing the same.

Another damning observation made by the Commission was that the doctor had fabricated records in the discharge card. The serial number of lens was altered, and this, the Commission stated, proved that expired lens were used which resulted in diminished eyesight.

Dr. Chheda was held negligent and was ordered to compensate Ramesh five lakh rupees.

Perhaps the good doctor saw where he erred and would not commit such a blunder henceforth.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra on 16th February, 2018.