Post-operative complications not my fault, says the doc

  • Posted on: November 02, 2018

The patient had stones in the gallbladder and in common bile duct (CBD) and hence was taken to Roy Nursing Home where Dr. Biswas performed a surgery to remove them.

Instead of recovering, the patient’s condition deteriorated very quickly as he developed swollen abdomen, profuse vomiting, rigor and convulsions. The patient was taken to another hospital where he was diagnosed with Biloma and thereafter a surgery was performed to remove the stone and resurrect the CBD. But the patient died soon after due to sepsis, cardio respiratory arrest and multi-organ failure.

I have lost my father due to medical negligence, the doctor and hospital must be held accountable – with this belief, the patient’s son approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal and made several allegations.

It was alleged that instead of first performing Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography (ERCP), the doctor performed surgery on the same day patient was admitted. It was further alleged that the doctor did not attend the patient when he complained of flatulence.

Another damning allegation was that the hospital refused to admin the patient once he developed swollen abdomen, profuse vomiting, rigor and convulsions. It was also alleged that diagnosis of stone present in CBD even after the surgery and development of sepsis clearly established negligence on part of the doctor and hospital.

Dr. Biswas and administrators of Roy Nursing Home indulged in browbeating. They refuted every allegation and made counter claims. It was stated that sepsis after gallbladder surgery is a known and an unavoidable post-operative complication and the doctor cannot be held responsible for it. Moreover, no expert opinion is provided to prove the allegations – the patient’s son is just making tall claims, concluded the doctor.

The Commission had witnessed such quarrels many times, and it always relied on evidence to deliver its ruling. Citing medical records, the Commission observed that retention of stone despite of an uneventful surgery clearly indicated negligence on part of the doctor. This one fact was enough to rule the doctor and hospital negligence.

Dr. Biswas and Roy Nursing Home were ordered to jointly pay twenty lakh rupees as compensation to the patient’s family.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 12th September, 2018.