Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Consumer Forum's order asking hospital to pay compensation upheld

Consumer Forum's order asking hospital to pay compensation upheld

K.T. Sangameswaran

Consumer panel finds deficiency in service

CHENNAI: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has upheld a district forum order for payment of Rs. 3 lakh as compensation and Rs.5,000 as costs to N. Ramanathan of Shencottah, whose wife died in a hospital at Tuticorin.

In its order, the Bench, comprising president Justice K. Sampath and member Pon. Gunasekaran, said the conclusion reached by the forum was correct.

Mr. Ramanathan, a railway travelling ticket examiner, had submitted before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Tuticorin, that his wife Maheswari (28) was admitted to Sundaram Arulraj Hospital in December 1998 after she complained of stomach and chest pain.

Defective cylinder

While in the intensive care unit, she was on oxygen continuously. The cylinder got exhausted, and there was no spare cylinder. A replacement brought after much delay was defective. She struggled for breath for more than an hour. The patient died because of negligence.

Dr. Arulraj of the hospital and Sundaram Arulraj Hospital, the opposite parties, submitted that the patient had extreme inflammation of oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. Her condition worsened and she was shifted to ICU. When oxygen in the standby cylinder was exhausted, the patient was connected to the central oxygen system in a fraction of a second. Her condition still did not improve. There was no deficiency in service.

Holding there was deficiency in service and carelessness on the part of the opposite parties in giving treatment and providing lifesaving amenities during treatment, the District Forum directed them to pay the compensation and costs.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Date:25/10/2006 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/10/25/stories/2006102514170700.htm


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