Patient loses her life – Nursing home & Doctor their credibility

  • Posted on: November 10, 2017

This case is about questions. Questions such as why a nursing home not equipped with appropriate facilities would admit a patient that may require those facilities? Why would a reasonable and seasoned doctor treat a patient despite knowing that the treatment may require availability of those facilities? Is it lack of knowledge or ignorance? You, the reader, decide.

Chinmoy Nath and his wife were soon to become parents of their second child. It was a matter of pride for them. But it turned out to be a matter of loss for the Nath family. Chinmoy’s wife was taken to Central Nursing Home as she was nearing the delivery date, and was under the care and treatment of Dr. Kajal. The doctor performed C-Section and a baby boy was delivered. This joy, however, was short lived for the Nath family. While the baby was hale and hearty, the mother’s condition had worsened as she developed acute respiratory distress. Surprisingly, there were no facilities at the nursing home to treat her and hence she was taken to another hospital, where she unfortunately breathed her last.

Chinmoy Nath would’ve been perhaps lost. Was he to mourn the death of her beloved wife or to feel joyous at the new life she gave birth to? One thing was sure – he wanted to plead his case. He approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal and presented his anguish and facts of the case. He had just one piercing allegation, which was quite to the point. The doctor and nursing home admitted the patient for a C-Section in spite of not having emergency facilities such as ICU and ventilators. They should be booked for this apparent negligence.

While the doctor and representatives of the nursing home tried to present the best defence they possibly could, the Commission rejected all of it. The Commission observed that the carelessness began from the very first day the patient was admitted to the nursing home. There were no records to prove that the doctor advised for blood sugar tests, ECG, etc. that were essential to take preventive steps for any pre-operative or post-operative complications. The Commission concurred with Chinmoy Nath’s plea that the nursing home should not have admitted the patient as it was lacking in emergency facilities such as ICU, ventilators, etc.

Dr. Kajal and Central Nursing GHome both were held guilty of negligence and were ordered to pay a compensation of more than 7 lacs. While Chinmoy Nath got the deserved justice, the question “Why” lingered in his conscience.

When he moved State Commission the hospital went for an appeal against it at National commission pointing out that the plea was filed after the two year deadline from the date of incident.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 10th November, 2017.