Gynec. held negligent for being eight hours too late

  • Posted on: March 16, 2023

A teenage girl experienced severe pain in lower abdomen. She was admitted to a hospital under the care of a gynaecologist. Some medicines and injections were prescribed, but to no avail.

Worried about his daughter’s condition, the girl’s father, at about 7 AM, requested hospital staff to call the gynaecologist. His plea fell onto deaf ears. Hours went by and the patient continued to experience excruciating pain.

The doctor eventually visited the patient at about 3PM and referred her to a gastroenterologist. But this did not bear any result either.

Enough is enough, thought patient’s father. He sought Discharge Against Medical Advice (DAMA) and shifted his daughter to another hospital.

The gynaecologist and hospital were sued. It was alleged that the hospital removed the bed side bell deliberately so that the patient could not complain about abdominal pain. It was further alleged that the gynaecologist took her own sweet time in attending the patient even though she knew that the pain was not subsiding.

The Commission perused medical records and observed that the bed side bell was removed as it was not functioning. And in any case, it was a simple error for which the hospital could not be held accountable.

The Commission seemed to be unimpressed with the gynaecologist, as it stated the following:

“At about 7 AM the patient’s father called the gynaecologist for immediate attention but she did not bother to take any immediate steps. Rather she vehemently stated that she would not be able to attend the patient before 3 PM”.

“It is our view that the doctor should’ve come forthwith to attend the patient without any further delay. Actually, it is the duty of doctors to provide standard care to the patient on and from admission to discharge. But in the instant case we find that the doctor did not pay any heed in respect of providing proper care to the patient”.

The gynaecologist was held negligent for providing delayed treatment and ordered to pay compensation.

Source: Order pronounced by West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 10th November, 2022.