The bitter result of diabetes

  • Posted on: August 18, 2021

The patient, a 22-year old young man – a known case of mental retardation – was taken to the hospital in a severely dehydrated condition with low grade fever and difficulty in breathing. In past, he was treated for pulmonary tuberculosis at other hospitals.

The doctors administered antibiotics and IV fluids to stabilise him, but unfortunately the young man suffered diabetic ketoacidosis and died.

The hospital and doctors were taken to court by patient’s father who alleged that his son’s blood sugar level was not ascertained before administering glucose and IV fluids. This mistake on the doctors’ part caused ketoacidosis with severe pneumonia of the lung, resulting in his untimely death.

The Commission heard father’s pleas patiently, but did not agree with him as it was observed that the patient had not taken any meals for past 6-7 days, and was in a severely dehydrated condition. Hence, it was imperative to administer IV fluids and glucose immediately. Moreover, the doctors had performed investigations to confirm patient’s blood sugar level. The reports were received later in the evening.

The Commission concluded that starting IV fluids without waiting to confirm diabetic status was not negligence, and hence the complaint against the doctors and hospital was dismissed.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 5th August, 2019.