The heavy cost of ‘medical misadventure’

  • Posted on: January 26, 2023

A young boy’s left wrist was fractured while playing. He was barely four years old.

The child was taken to a nursing home where orthopaedic surgeon decided to perform an operation. However, the child died soon after administration of anaesthesia.

The boy’s parents were shell-shocked. It took a little while before they could come to terms with their loss. They sued the orthopaedic surgeon, anaesthetist and the nursing home.

Surprisingly, the orthopaedic surgeon claimed that the child died soon after administration of anaesthesia whereas the anaesthetist claimed that the child died after surgery.

The nursing home also made a startling claim. It was stated that all possible care was taken, an ECG was performed before the procedure.

It smells fishy, or so the Commission would have thought as it perused the post-mortem report and medical records.

It was observed that the child’s body was taken for post-mortem in the same afternoon when the nursing home claimed to have performed ECG late in the night! How was it possible?

It was further observed that neither the orthopaedic surgeon nor the anaesthetist could be believed as they were both contradicting each other and perhaps trying to shrug off their responsibility.

Observing that there was a clear case of ‘medical misadventure’, the Commission held all three negligent and slapped a collective compensation of thirty lakh rupees.

Source:Order pronounced by West Bengal Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 14th September, 2022.