The Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered two surgeons and an anaesthetist of Fortis Hospital, Seshadripuram, to pay up a total of Rs 23.54 lakh as compensation to the husband and children of a 45-year-old school principal. She died on February 11, 2010, allegedly due to negligence of the doctors after a surgery at the hospital.
The commission held that despite “no cardiac care centre” present at the hospital the doctors still ventured to conduct a surgery on K Vidya Prasad, school principal of Regency Public School, Vidyaranyapura. And this was done although there was a “pre-operative cardiac risk factor involved” in her case.
The commission arrived at its decision that there was negligence involved as the doctors “acted in haste in conducting surgery, that too when the opinion given with regard to the cardiac risk factor was involved in the case”.
However, another doctor and a neurosurgeon who were consultants for the surgery were let off as they were not part of the decision-making process.
HNM Prasad, an advocate at High Court of Karnataka, and his two minor children, approached the Consumer Forum in 2011. The complainants had alleged medical negligence on the part of the hospital and its doctors who conducted the surgery on her.
Vidya, who was then working as the principal of Regency Public School, Vidyaranyapura, was suffering from lower back pain and was found to have ‘intra vertebral disc prolapse’, or ‘slip disc’.
She had a surgery for the problem at the Columbia Asia Referral Hospital in October 2009. When her problem relapsed a few months later, she approached Dr PK Raju who advised another surgery stating that the earlier surgery was a failure.
On his advice, she was admitted to Fortis Hospital and the surgery was conducted on February 11, 2010.
Prasad in his complaint claimed that after the surgery at 11.30 am, he was informed it was a “success”, and that his wife would be shifted to the ward shortly.
But by 12.45 pm, Vidya was not responding to treatment, and the doctor allegedly told Prasad that “only God can save her” as there was no pace-maker facility in the hospital. She died before she could be shifted to another hospital.
Awarding the compensation to be paid by the hospital and the doctors, the commission said, “On account of untimely death of the victim, the complainants being her husband and children are entitled to be compensated for the same though no amount of money can adequately compensate the loss of a person.”
The commission calculated the compensation amount by applying the method employed under the Motor Vehicles Act for accident cases.
Fortis Hospital is not new to facing action over negligence cases. In September 2011, the licence of Fortis Hospital on Bannerghatta Road was cancelled by the commissioner of health, family welfare & ayush services after negligence by the doctors had caused the death of a retired Indian Army Major’s wife.
The licence cancellation had followed a detailed investigation by then Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde, which had found negligence to be the cause of her death. The probe had confirmed that the surgery involving transplant of the lady’s pancreas was carried out despite the hospital having no licence to perform transplantations.
The retired Major had appealed to the Lokayukta after his wife’s death in May 2010 – just three months after alleged negligence had claimed the life of K Vidya Prasad, the principal of Regency Public School, Vidyaranyapura, in its Seshadripuram branch.http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/Fortis-doctors-fined-over-Rs-2-million-for-negligence/articleshow/55165880.cms