Earwax removal turns out to be sticky affair for the doctor

  • Posted on: October 07, 2019

Arzoo, a 12 year old girl, was taken to Dr. Pol by her father for a simple procedure of removing excessive earwax. However, the events subsequent to the procedure were anything but simple!

Ten days after the procedure the little girl felt excruciating pain in the ear and approached Dr. Pol yet again with her father. The doctor suspected something amiss and immediately referred her to a paediatrician who diagnosed that Arzoo was suffering from meningitis. The girl’s father was shocked and almost immediately starting pointing fingers at Dr. Pol for his supposed negligence.

Dr. Pol was eventually sued and blamed for providing ‘wrong treatment’ that lead to the onset of meningitis!

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission seemed to be unimpressed by the allegation. It was observed that the doctor had initially administered ear drops and prescribed some medicine for removing wax from the ear but since that did not yield results, he performed a wax removal procedure after which a cotton was inserted in the ear and a bandage was fixed. The Commission further observed from medical records that there was no perforation in the eardrum and the patient was sent home in a satisfied condition.

The Commission also took note of the paediatrician’s medical records, specifically a MRI which had confirmed that there was no perforation, the otoscopy which had revealed intact tympanic membrane and the normal reports of impedance audiometry.

There was no connection between the procedure and development of meningitis, and there was absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ in Dr. Pol’s treatment, the patient’s father was told as the Commission held the doctor not guilty of medical negligence.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi on 15th May, 2019.