Consumer forum orders GMSH-16 surgeons to pay `6.5 lakh for negligence

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Chandigarh dismissed the appeal of Superintendent of GMSH (Government Multi Specialty Hospital), Sector 16, Chandigarh, and two surgeons of the insitute for their alleged negligence during the surgery of a Shimla woman, which resulted in fracture of the drainpipe inside her abdomen.

The complainant, Usha Verma alleged that on July 16, 2015, she started getting treatment at GMSH-16 for the removal of her gall bladder. She was admitted in the hospital on October 16, 2015.

It was stated that on October 17, laparoscopic procedure for removal of her gall bladder was performed by Dr SS Dabar (presently posted at Department of Surgery, Government Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula), and Dr Kulbir Bal. During the procedure, to drain the excess blood and fluid, standard surgical drainpipe make ‘Polymed’ measuring 4 mm diameter and 152 centimeters long was put in the abdomen of Verma. A 21 cms drainpipe was placed in abdominal cavity, whereas remaining pipe, kept out of the cavity, was linked with reservoir (container). Thereafter, she was discharged on October 19.

On October 21, she visited the hospital for removal of the drainpipe, which was done on the same day.

As alleged by Verma, removal of the drainpipe was done in a highly negligent manner and a total of only 9 cms was cut and remaining 12 cms remained inside. She was not told about the same and was discharged from the hospital. She began experiencing pain after some days and visited the hospital on October 26, 2015, to remove the stitches. On the same day, she visited Dr Dabar, who told her to get her CECT scan, done on the very same day. In the scan, the presence of a foreign object was seen.

Thereafter, she was told that she would be operated upon again and was thus admitted on October 28.

The second surgery was performed on October 29 and the foreign body was removed. Verma was allegedly discharged on October 31, 2015 in a near-fatal condition after the second surgery.

The superintendent GMSH-16 submitted that the complaint is not maintainable, as Verma did not fall under the definition of a consumer. Dr Bal and Dr Dabar denied any carelessness and alleged that the drainpipe broke due to her own negligence and she was immediately advised a second surgery in October. However, she did not turn up claiming to be perfectly fine. When she visited the hospital to remove her stitches, a CT scan was done and the second surgery was performed, whereby, the left out piece of drainpipe was removed from her abdomen.

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The district commission found the respondents negligent and ordered to pay Rs 4 lakh for causing medical negligence, Rs 2 lakh as compensation and Rs 50,000 as cost of litigation. The authorities of GMSH-16, however filed an appeal against the order of the district commission, before the state commission.

The authorities of GMSH-16, however filed an appeal against the order of the district commission, before the state panel.

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