Ex-cop’s ‘misconceptions’ arrested by the court

  • Posted on: June 30, 2022

The patient, a septuagenarian retired IPS officer, fell down from stairs at his residence. He was rushed to a reputed hospital - tests revealed fractured acetabulum.

The doctors opined that there was no need for an immediate surgery and advised skeletal traction for eight weeks. The patient agreed and opted to continue the treatment at his home.

Unfortunately, skeletal traction resulted in urine retention. A catheter was inserted. The old patient experienced chest pain after few days and his fractured leg was also swollen. The doctor diagnosed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and changed the line of treatment. But patient’s condition showed no improvement.

He visited another hospital where total hip replacement (THR) was performed.

The policeman in patient came out of retirement. He sued the hospital and its doctors. It was alleged that the doctors ought to have performed THR immediately instead of advising skeletal traction. Several complications developed subsequently because of this negligence, claimed the retired cop.

The doctors presented well-prepared, well-maintained medical records in their defence and submitted that THR was not advised as the patient had several comorbidities. Skeletal traction and medication were advised to augment the healing of all acetabular bony pieces, to form good bony bed for replacement of acetabulum cup. Initially, the elective THR was scheduled and even hip implant was ordered but patient did not turn up for surgery, concluded the doctors.

The Commission quickly came to a conclusion, and it was not in favour of the policeman-patient as it stated the following:

“Except self-serving evidence, nothing is placed on record to hold that the hospital or its doctors are guilty of medical negligence. Had THR been conducted in the first instance the patient would have found fault stating that skeletal traction should have been performed and THR was obviously performed in order to make money. His perception that traction ought not to have been conducted is without any authority”.

“The patient was a highly placed official, but except making allegations of medical negligence he could not establish by examining his own doctor who treated him. Except deducing medical negligence from the fact that total hip replacement surgery was conducted by another doctor and as such the earlier treatment by the hospital and its doctors went in wrong line, no other evidence is placed. This is unfortunate. We do not agree with such sort of misconception”.

The ex-policeman’s complains were retired and the hospital along with its doctors were not held negligent.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 28th January, 2022.