Nashik hospital, doctor, state to pay ₹14L for death due to medical negligence

A state consumer commission has ordered a state-run hospital in Nashik, a cardiologist and the state government to pay compensation to the kin of a 69-year-old man who lost his life three days after his health deteriorated post an angioplasty operation.

Vishwasrao Ballal was admitted in the Regional Referral Hospital, Nashik on May 6, 2012 with complaints of heaviness of chest. The angioplasty took place the following day. Post this, his health started deteriorating with blood pressure and other vital parameters dropping. He died on May 9.

Advocate for the complainants - the deceased’s wife Meena Ballal and their son Amol, told the commission that a rupture in the artery during the procedure led to bleeding, but could be diagnosed in time by an immediate CT scan. He also stated that the treating doctor Dr. Sheetal Hiran had ignored the telephonic advice of a senior cardiologist who had advised a CT scan of the abdomen and advised it late.

The advocate also stated that in written statements of the opposite parties they have said that the reason for not shifting the patient for CT scan was there was no battery back-up in a machine needed for the shifting. He said that the operation theatre was also not kept open by the hospital for emergency operation, due to which the crucial operation was delayed.

The opposite parties told the commission that the patient was in critical condition and hence in spite of best efforts, died a natural death.

A coram of presiding judicial member PB Joshi and member SK Kakade said in its order that the doctor did not come to a conclusion about the source of bleeding inside the body and went on conducting unnecessary investigations and neglected the advice given by a senior cardiologist. He advised CT Scan of abdomen very late, it said.

Regarding the hospital and state government, the commission said that the hospital and the state are liable for the act of omission of not providing the facility necessary for emergency life-saving treatment, thus more responsible than the treating doctor itself. The loss of life, it said, could be avoided by vigilant and timely action by them.

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