Supreme Court penalizes hospital for medical negligence

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medical negligence

In a complaint by Alfred Benddict and his wife, which moved the Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the duo asked for an amount of Rs one crore as compensation from Manipal Hospital for medical negligence. The commission has awarded Rs five lakh for the same, confirmed by the National commission as per The Hindu reports.

 The two are parents to a two year old girl child who had been in August, 2002 admitted in the mentioned hospital for treatment of cold, cough and pneumonia. In the ICU the child was administered with and intravenous fluid, which was inserted wrongly into the vein rather than the artery. As a result of which the blood supply to the arm was blocked, further resulting in gangrene. This spread from the finger tips to the portion of the hand below wrist joint, resulting in amputation of her right arm.

While the hospital has appealed for dismissal of the fine which is to be awarded, the parents had appealed to the apex court for an enhancement of the compensation.

Justices MY Eqbal and Arun Mishr dismissed the hospital’s appeal and said, “We do not find any reason to differ with the finding that it was only because of the negligence on the part of the Hospital the two years’ child developed gangrene resulting into amputation of her right arm.”

“However, taking into consideration the sufferings of the girl child, who is now 13 years of age, in our opinion the compensation awarded by the State Commission, is in a lower side. Counsel appearing for the complainant submitted that every year she has to incur battery charges for the artificial limb, which costs Rs.80,000 annually. There cannot be any dispute that the girl will have to suffer throughout her life and has to live with artificial limb. Not only she would have to face difficulty in her education but would have also to face problem in getting herself married,” excerpted the Bench while making the decision.

The bench also made clear that, “although the sufferings, agony and pain, which the girl child will carry cannot be compensated in terms of money, but, in our view, a compensation of Rs.20 Lakhs will be just and reasonable in order to meet the problems being faced by her and also to meet future troubles that will arise in her life.”

The hospital has been directed to pay the amount in six weeks by the Bench.