The fatality of carelessness

  • Posted on: November 03, 2017

Recently a hospital and its treating doctors were slapped a heavy fine of close to forty lacs. What had transpired up to that point which compelled the State Disputes Consumer Redressal Commission, West Bengalto deliver such a verdict was perhaps even more damning.

Dr. Kamal had undertaken the treatment of a patient with simple case of fever and running nose. The patient did not respond to the initial line of treatment and the doctor saw fit to administer Augmentin without checking whether she was allergic to it or not. As it turned out, she was. And fatally.

The patient developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and was shifted to the intensive care unit of Command Hospital. About a week later, the patient succumbed to ARDS, Septicaemia, and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.

The patient’s family could not believe that she was no more. Grieving at their loss, they mustered the courage and approach the State Disputes Consumer Redressal Commission, West Bengalseeking justice for the easily avoidable mishap. It was alleged that Dr. Kamal administered a heavy dose of Augmentin without checking patient’s reaction to it. This negligence was apparent from the fact that the doctor had left the space in the prescription tagged ‘Allergy’ blank. It was further alleged that the treating doctors of the hospital connived with Dr. Kamal. They tried to link Erythema Multiformethat was prescribed rather than Augmentin which caused the allergic reaction that resulted into development of ARDS.

The Commission was perhaps more appalled at the silence of the doctors and hospital than anything. It was observed that Dr. Kamal was indeed negligent for administering Augmentin without checking patient’s reaction to it. It was further observed that Augmentin was usually administered 250 mg thrice a day whereas the doctor had administered 1000 mg at one go! The Commission also held the hospital guilty for the conduct of its doctors in falsely reporting the case.

Something that could have been easily avoided turned out to be fatal for the patient and caused loss of pride for the healthcare community.

Source: Order pronounced by State Disputes Consumer Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 31st August, 2017