Delay costs everyone dearly

  • Posted on: July 14, 2022

The patient was under antenatal care of a hospital. At around 9PM she was admitted with labour pain. The gynaecologist was not present, however, on-duty doctor was constantly monitoring her.

Around midnight, emergency caesarean was performed. Unfortunately, the baby was delivered stillborn.

Losing a child could be a devastating experience. The couple sued the doctor and alleged that the baby could have been saved if she had performed caesarean on time. It was further alleged that the hospital lacked in basic critical care infrastructure.

The Commission perused medical records and observed that on-duty doctor, who was not a gynaecologist, was monitoring the patient and was also giving updates to the gynaecologist. However, she should have exercised caution upon observing vaginal bleeding which started around midnight. The on-duty doctor ought to have recognised it as a sign of accidental haemorrhage or abruptio placenta.

The Commission further observed that delay in performing caesarean proved to be fatal for the baby. The gynaecologist should have attended the patient to ascertain cause of bleeding and should have performed caesarean immediately thereafter.

Noting that there was nothing mentioned in medical records about gynaecologist’s presence during caesarean, the court held her, on-duty doctor and the hospital negligent. They were also ordered to pay compensation.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 21st January, 2022.