Doc gets bitter taste of his own medicine as he provides treatment without diagnosing

  • Posted on: April 30, 2018

It is ideal to arrive at a provisional diagnosis before starting any treatment. It is one of the basic most aspects of medicine which most doctors follow prudently. However, this case demonstrates that the courts do not take lightly when this is not followed diligently.

Mrs. Saha had taken her young son to Dr. Samanta at Modak Medical Hall with complain of high fever and cough. The doctor simply prescribed medicines without making any initial diagnosis or without noting any clinical symptoms. The young boy’s condition deteriorated as he developed eruption of skin on footsole, palm and genital area along with reddish eyeball and lips.

The worried mother approached Dr. Samanta again, who again without making any clinical notings, diagnosed the young boy to be suffering from Chicken Pox and prescribed medicines accordingly. The young boy started coughing blood almost immediately. Mrs. Saha by the time had lost faith in Dr. Samanta and approached another doctor who made a provisional diagnosis of Steven Johnson Syndrome and admitted the young boy to the hospital. He was treated at the hospital for about ten days and subsequently discharged in a healthy condition.

Mrs. Saha was furious at Dr. Samantaas she approached State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal and pointed at lackadaisical treatment provided by him.It was alleged that the doctor neither made any provisional diagnosis of his son’s condition nor noted any clinical symptom before starting the treatment. She further alleged that the doctor did not even consider whether the boy was allergic to Paracetamol or not before prescribing it. Such carelessness must be punished, implored the angry mother.

Dr. Samanta seemed to be indifferent to the entire episode as he presented his side of the story. At the outset he stated that not recording clinical symptoms is neither mandatory nor negligence. Moreover, the diagnosis of Chicken Pox was right and medicines were prescribed accordingly, concluded the doctor.

The Commission didn’t agree to any statements made by the doctor. It was observed that making clinical noting and arriving at provisional diagnosis is standard of protocol and Dr. Samanta had not followed it. Citing medical literature, the Commission further observed that Leukopania lab test has to be performed before arriving at the diagnosis of Chicken Pox, which the doctor did not follow.Moreover, the diagnosis ofSteven Johnson Syndrome and successful subsequent treatment proves that the doctor wrongly diagnosed Chicken Pox, concluded the Commission.

The doctor and Modak Medical Hall were jointly ordered to compensate more than seven lakh, which would perhaps serve as a good reminder to follow the standard or protocol diligently.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 9th March, 2018.