Post-op complication after a ‘reasonably common surgery’ - Gynaecologist held negligent

  • Posted on: February 22, 2024

The patient, a pregnant lady with past complicated pregnancies, had conceived. She was regularly consulting the gynaecologist.

The doctor performed C-section; a baby was delivered. The patient suffered post-operative complications such as abdominal swelling and breathlessness due to broad ligament tear. She was transferred to ICU, the doctor decided to perform re-exploratory surgery. However, her husband did not consent and opted to shift her to another hospital.

The patient underwent hysterectomy at the second hospital. She sued the gynaecologist and first hospital, alleging gross negligence while performing C-section procedure.

The doctor rebutted patient’s allegation and stated that patient had conceived twice earlier, both pregnancies were aborted due to complications. The doctor pointed out that the patient displayed signs of pre-eclampsia and hence, C-section was performed as a life-saving measure.

It was further stated that postpartum haemorrhage was a known complication of C-section. Training the gun at patient’s husband, the doctor finally stated that he delayed in deciding to opt out of re-exploratory surgery and waited for second hospital’s ambulance to arrive which further complicated patient’s condition.

The top Consumer Commission did not accept doctor’s defence, and upheld the order passed by District Consumer Commission. It was observed that the patient had to undergo a second major operation due to broad ligament tear during C-section, which was a “reasonably common surgery”.

The gynaecologist was held negligent and ordered to pay three lakh rupees as compensation.

Source : Order pronounced by Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 9th February, 2024.