A city-based gynecologist and an insurance company will have to shell out Rs 8 lakh with 9 per cent interest for 12 years for forgetting a mop inside a patient’s body after a surgical procedure.
Gynecologist Dr Vandana Amin ran a nursing home in Patan in 2002. One Mitaben Patel consulted her after the bleeding in her uterus did not stop even after a laser therapy. The gynecologist advised her to remove the uterus and a surgery was performed on the patient in October 2002.
After the surgery, patient encountered another problem. A sonography report revealed a piece of gauze was present in the body. It was found attached with the intestine and was creating multiple problems for her. Mitaben had to undergo another surgery and the mop was removed more than a year after her first operation.
In 2003, Mitaben moved a consumer court in Surat, where she used to live. She demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation for the doctor’s negligence. The court concluded that the mop had damaged the intestine and other inner parts of the body, and therefore ordered the doctor to pay Rs 8 lakh for her gross negligence. Since the hospital was insured, the insurance company also came into the picture.
However, the doctor and insurance company questioned the order at the Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. The commission upheld the earlier decision of the consumer court. “Was is not the duty of the gynecologist to verify that every instrument, gauze, cotton and other articles used during the operation were back on operating table after completing the operation or not?” the commission said. “If anything remains in the body during the operation, it is gross negligence on the part of the operating doctor.”
Besides asking to pay Rs 8 lakh to patient with interest, the consumer commission also ordered the doctor and insurance company to pay Rs 10,000 to the patient for dragging Mitaben to court again.
(Originally published in The Times Of India)