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Thursday, February 7, 2013

negligence of the doctors - shock and multiple organ failure, =The Complainant had fractured his hip which was fixed at OP hospital by the concerned doctors with screws. On 12.1.2004 he came to the hospital for removal of his screws for which an operation was performed under the supervision of an anaesthetist. The Complainant allegedly, suffered septicaemic shock and multiple organ failure, due to negligence of the doctors at OP hospital. = the infection occurred during the stay of the Complainant at the hospital. On the other hand, there is nothing to show that the source of infection lay outside the hospital. Thus, there is preponderance of possibilities of the infection having been acquired in the hospital itself. We therefore, do not accept the contention that it was necessary for the Complainant to produce expert evidence to prove negligence on the part of the concerned doctors in the hospital.


NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
NEW DELHI
REVISION PETITION NO. 3698 OF 2012
(Against the order dated 12.06.2012 in First Appeal
No.644 of 2010 of the A.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission)

The Apollo Emergency Hospital
Near Old MLA Quarters, Hyderabad,
Rep. by its Chief Executive Officer                                                                                                     ……….Petitioner
                                                                            
                                              Versus
1. Dr. Bommakanti Sai Krishna
   S/o Jagannadharao
   Occ: Doctor, Sai Orthopedic
   And Maternity Hospital
   Palakole, West Godavari District
   Andhra Pradesh

2. United India Insurance Company
    Rep. by its manager, H. No. 2-4-1/4,
    M.G. Road, Secunderabad
   Andhra Pradesh                                                                                                                              .......Respondents


REVISION PETITION NO. 3699 OF 2012
(Against the order dated 12.06.2012 in First Appeal
No.862 of 2011 of the A.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission)

The Apollo Emergency Hospital
Near Old MLA Quarters, Hyderabad,
Rep. by its Chief Executive Officer                                                                                                   ……….Petitioner
                                                                            
Versus

1. Dr. Bommakanti Sai Krishna
   S/o Jagannadharao
   Occ: Doctor, Sai Orthopedic
   And Maternity Hospital
   Palakole, West Godavari District
   Andhra Pradesh

2. United India Insurance Company
    Rep. by its manager, H. No. 2-4-1/4,
    M.G. Road, Secunderabad
   Andhra Pradesh                                                                                                                              .......Respondents



BEFORE
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE  J. M. MALIK,
                              PRESIDING MEMBER
HON’BLE MR. VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER



For the Petitioner         :   Mrs. K. Radha Rao, Advocate

PRONOUNCED ON:  05.02.2013.


ORDER

PER MR.VINAY KUMAR, MEMBER

The Apollo Emergency Hospital, Hyderabad has filed two identical revision petitions No.3698 and 3699 of 2012. Both are against FA Nos.644 of 2010 and 862 of 2011 decided by the AP State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, decided in a common impugned order.
2.      The matter arose out of a consumer complaint filed by 
Dr.Bommakanti Sai Krishna (hereinafter referred to as Dr. BSK) alleging negligence in his treatment at OP hospital.  
The Complainant had fractured his hip which was fixed at OP hospital by the concerned doctors with screws.  
On 12.1.2004 he came to the hospital for removal of his screws for which an operation was performed under the supervision of an anaesthetist.  
It is alleged that he was not properly attended to by the duty doctors and nurses.  
Therefore, his condition worsened and on 14.1.2004 he was shifted to the ICU in critical condition.  
The Complainant allegedly, suffered septicaemic shock and multiple organ failure, due to negligence of the doctors at OP hospital. 
On 16.1.2004, he was shifted by the OP to Apollo Hospital Jubilee Hill where he remained under very expensive treatment till his discharge on 15.2.2004.  
Considering the high expenditure on his treatment, loss of medical practice of himself (an orthopaedic surgeon) and his wife (a practising Gynaecologist) and the suffering undergone by him, total compensation of Rs.15.25 lakhs was claimed.     
3.      The District Forum held that it was a clear case of deficiency of service and negligence on the part of the OP and its doctors, which were the cause for the infection, bed sores and resultant discomfort and suffering undergone by the Complainant.  
The District Forum allowed the complaint with compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs and cost of Rs.10,000/-.  The award of the District Forum was challenged by both parties in two appeals, as already noted. 
4.      The appeal of the OP was dismissed and in the appeal filed by the Complainant Dr. BSK, the State Commission additionally awarded 9% interest from the date of the complaint observing that:-
“Now coming to the F.A. No.862/2011 filed by the complainant for enhancement of compensation and for awarding of interest on the awarded amount by the District Forum, we do not find any material much less sufficient material for enhancement compensation awarded by the District Forum holding that it is inadequate.  However regarding awarding of interest, the District Forum ought to have granted interest on the awarded amount at least from the date of the complaint.  Therefore we are inclined to granted interest at 9% p.a on the awarded amount of Rs.5,00,000/- from the date of the complaint i.e. 21.09.2005.”
5.      We have carefully considered the records submitted by the Apollo Emergency Hospital in the two revision petitions and have heard their counsel, Mrs. K.Radha Rao, at length. 
6.      The main contention of the revision petitioner is that a very high level of cleanliness and hygiene is maintained in the hospital and the performance is reviewed every 15 days.  
The floors, operation theatre and the rooms are cleaned and disinfected every day.  
Further, there is no evidence showing that the Complainant suffered infection due to unhygienic and improper maintenance of the hospital equipment. However, we find that simultaneously, the possibility of infection is also admitted in the revision petition in the following words:-
          “it is submitted that it is a basic principle that infection can happen due to improper sterilization surgical equipment which does not mean that has been occurred in the case of the respondent in the petitioner’s hospital.(Ground F)...........the medical record suggests that Pseudomonas is also present in the healthy body/patient.  Steps can be taken only minimize the infection but not total eradication of it.  Every hospital acquired infection does not presuppose the improper and unhygienic maintenance of the hospital. (Ground   G)”
7.      The fact remains that the infection developed while the complainant/Dr. BSK was at OP hospital for his treatment.  
The possibility of infection occurring is not denied and is, in fact admitted in the revision petition, though very indirectly.  
Neither the revision petition nor the counsel point to any evidence placed before the fora below and ignored by them which could have shown that the cause/source of the infection lay not in the treatment in the OP hospital, but elsewhere.  
Therefore, we reject this contention of the revision petitioner.
8.      It is also alleged that there is no direct evidence against hospital to show that the infection was acquired at the hospital.  As already observed, the infection occurred during the stay of the Complainant at the hospital.  On the other hand, there is nothing to show that the source of infection lay outside the hospital. Thus, there is preponderance of possibilities of the infection having been acquired in the hospital itself. We therefore, do not accept the contention that it was necessary for the Complainant to produce expert evidence to prove negligence on the part of the concerned doctors in the hospital.  
9.      In view of the details considered above, we do not find any merit in this revision petition. The same is dismissed for want of merit. No orders as to costs.
.………………Sd/-…………
(J. M. MALIK, J.)
PRESIDING MEMBER

……………Sd/-…………….
(VINAY KUMAR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            MEMBER
s./-

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