Doc fails to confirm blood group before performing C-section, patient dies

  • Posted on: February 12, 2018

Healthcare practitioners can make errors in judgement but can never afford to fail in following proper protocol before performing any procedure.

Mr. & Mrs. Raji were elated as they were expecting a second child. Mrs. Raji was admitted to JJ Hospital where Dr. Joseph performed a caesarean operation. A baby boy was delivered but Mrs. Raji’s condition suddenly deteriorated. She suffered Atonic PPH and bled profusely. The doctor performed sub-total hysterectomy and called for AB+ blood, but during the procedure it was revealed that the patient’s blood group was A+. The mistake was corrected but it was too late. Mrs. Raji succumbed to cardiac arrest and died.

Grief stricken and lost, Mr. Raji found courage and his way to National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi and vented out his anger upon the doctor. It was alleged that the doctor kept him dark about his wife’s condition throughout the time of operation. It was further alleged that the doctor did not explain why two different type of blood groups were requested. I must receive justice, implored Mr. Raji.

Dr. Joseph was very defensive, as he knew he had committed a big mistake. It was stated that the patient was advised of the possible need of blood during the antenatal check-ups. It was further stated that the patient confidently revealed her blood group as AB+ and because she was a highly educated teacher, the doctor believed her and did not ascertain the blood group.

It seemed that the Commission was in a mood to reprimand the doctor for his lackadaisical approach. In no uncertain terms, the Commission stated the following: “In our view, the treating doctor failed to advise basic investigations including blood group during antenatal check-ups or before the surgery. Just relying upon patient’s word that her blood group was AB+ is not an accepted practice or a diligent attitude. It is quite common that a layman often do not remember the blood group or wrongly interpret it. Therefore, it was the duty of the hospital or doctor to ascertain the blood group of patient on the basis of any laboratory report or subjecting the patient for blood group test again before delivery”.

The doctor was held guilty of negligence and was ordered to compensate an amount of one lakh.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi on 3rd January, 2018.