General surgeon pays 50 lakh rupees compensation

  • Posted on: May 02, 2024

The patient, a 38-year-old woman, was diagnosed with gall stones. The general surgeon performed laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Unfortunately, the patient suffered portal vein injury during the procedure. An open surgery was performed to stop the bleeding, but to no avail.

The patient was rushed to another hospital, but succumbed to the complications next day.

Her family sued the general surgeon, alleging that the doctor didn’t anticipate complications, and did not appoint vascular surgeon to manage anticipated complication. It was further alleged that consent was taken from patient’s father instead of patient herself, who was conscious and oriented.

The doctor contested these allegations, stating that portal vein injury was a rare, but a known complication which occurred while finalizing the open surgery. He pointed finger at the second hospital, stating that it was answerable for patient’s injuries!

Citing medical records and medical text, the Commission rejected doctor’s defence, observing that:

“As per records, to remove the gallbladder, the surgeon frees it from liver by clipping and cutting the cystic duct and the cystic artery, the main blood supply to the gallbladder. Clipping and cutting of the common bile duct is not part of the procedure and, if not repaired, it will result in serious harm to the patient”.

“Portal vein injury was not noticed by the surgeon or others while the operation was in progress but may have been noticed when it was being finalized. An injury caused and not recognized by the surgeon is regarded as negligence.”

The general surgeon was held negligent and ordered to pay fifty lakh rupees as compensation.

Source : Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 7th April, 2024