Temperatures flared due to malaria, cooled down by court

  • Posted on: November 04, 2021

It is difficult for parents to see their children hospitalized and experience pain. The feeling of helplessness is perhaps amplified if the child happens to be a new-born, as was in this case.

Baby Shaistha was born with congenital heart disease. Her worried parents moved heaven and earth to ensure that this complication does not affect her future. After consulting several doctors, they admitted her to a reputed hospital where a team of surgeons performed complicated procedure. Thankfully, the congenital abnormalities were surgically corrected. But other complications set in.

The new-born showed symptoms of malaria and was shifted to a paediatric centre for better management. Eventually, baby Shaistha was discharged after some days from this second hospital in a hale and hearty condition.

The angry parents sued the first hospital and claimed that the doctors were negligent in treating their child and blamed them for the onset of malaria.

The Commission went through medical records and rejected parents’ plea, while stating the following:

“The patient was given proper ICU care after the procedure. In the meantime, she had spike of fever therefore, blood culture along with central venous catheter tip culture was done which turned out to be sterile. The patient was given higher antibiotics. She showed another spike of fever and was showing signs of jaundice and electrolyte imbalance which could affect the brain. Cerebral malaria was also suspected and for specialized paediatric ICU management, she was shifted to paediatric centre. Several investigations were performed at this second hospital, and they were positive for typhoid and also falciparum malaria”.

Conclusively, the Commission observed that if patient had indeed contracted malaria prior to admission at the first hospital, it would have been detected during pre-operative tests. However, there were no symptoms of malaria, and hence the first hospital cannot be held negligent for unfortunate turn of events after surgery.

These facts observed by the court of law proved hospital’s due diligence, and also hopefully cooled down the tempers.

Source: : Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 2nd July, 2021.