This patient gets a crash-course on medico-legal aspects

  • Posted on: September 11, 2016

Suresh Rani was a worried woman. Diagnosed with Uterus Fibroid, she had undergone a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy (TAH) performed by Dr. Singh.

However, she was gripped by immense abdominal pain two – three days after the surgery; and when Suresh Rani didn’t get a desired response from Dr. Singh about her condition, she approached Gian Sagar Hospital.

The report tore her apart as two cuts in the food pipe were diagnosed. The source of her worry, it seemed, was not only how to recuperate, but also how to recover compensation from Dr. Singh for his assumed negligence due to which she suffered internal injuries. It would be easy, or so she must have thought, as she approached the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. She alleged that the doctor simply gave administered an injection from glucose and suggested that it was gastric problem, when she had visited with complain of abdominal pain post-surgery. Dr. Singh neither practiced proper precaution during the surgery nor diagnosed the post-surgery complications – and this amounts to medical negligence, claimed Suresh Rani!

The calm and collected Dr. Singh presented the signed consent form and the report of enquiry held by a Senior Medical Officer which found no evidence of medical negligence. The Commission too duly noted merit in the documents and observed that the patient simply has made allegations and not brought anything on record to prove negligence.

Citing medical literature, the Commission specified that “Small bowel injuries are the most common intestinal injuries in gynaecological surgery. The bladder can be perforated during entry into the anterior cul-de-sac; in abdominal hysterectomy. Injury can also occur when the peritoneum is opened or during dissection of the bladder off the lower uterine segment, cervix and upper vagina. Although most of these complications are corrected during the procedure, postoperative incontinence due to bladder injury during surgery is commonly reported. In all, regardless of the careful precautions taken, approximately one third of patients develop postoperative febrile infection.”

Instead of getting compensation, Suresh Rani got insights into medic-legal aspects as the Commission ruled in favour of Dr. Singh.

Source: Order pronounced by Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 13th June, 2016.