Temporary paralysis did not cause permanent damage

  • Posted on: June 10, 2021

The pregnant patient was taken to hospital where she delivered a healthy boy. However, her condition worsened soon after. She developed ependymoma – a tumour – in the spinal cord and was temporarily paralysed below the limbs.

She was taken to a higher centre where she underwent spinal surgery. The patient subsequently underwent plastic surgery and recovered.

Back on her feet, with verve and vitality, the new mother sued the doctor and made usual allegations. But her main grouse was that improper administration of anaesthesia caused ependymoma.

An expert committee was formed to look into the matter. It was opined that ependymoma was an independent tumour and it could not be correlated with administration of anaesthesia. It was also opined that histopathological test did not report any evidence of haemorrhage which could have caused paralysis.

The Commission accepted committee’s report, and made another important observation. The patient was immediately advised by the doctor to go to a higher centre. But her family took time in deciding and shifted her after two days.

Observing that the treatment provided was as per protocol and administration of anaesthesia did not the cause paralysis, the Commission ruled in favour of doctor and dismissed patient’s case.

Source: Order pronounced by Odisha State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 13th April, 2021.