Admitted for hernia surgery in 1996, the woman had slipped into coma after administration of anaesthesia and eventually died of hypoxia because no oxygen cylinder was readily available with the nursing home
New Delhi: The apex consumer commission has asked a nursing home to pay an enhanced compensation of Rs7 lakh to the sons of a woman, who slipped into coma and died of hypoxia after she was administered anaesthesia for surgery, reports PTI.
Admitted for hernia surgery in 1996, the woman had slipped into coma after administration of anaesthesia and eventually died of hypoxia (lack of oxygen level in blood) because no oxygen cylinder was readily available with the nursing home to administer her, the vital gas in time.
The woman had died seven days after she was shifted to another hospital following the surgery, but the post-mortem report said "the patient died of hypoxia consequent to administration of anaesthesia".
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) verdict, increasing the damages to Delhi residents Rajat and Sobhit Jain from Rs1 lakh to Rs7 lakh came on their appeal against the Delhi State Consumer Commission ruling.
While upholding the lower fora's finding that the nursing home and the concerned doctor, Dr P N Gupta, were guilty of rendering deficient service by not arranging for an oxygen cylinder beforehand, the NCDRC said the compensation awarded by the state commission was meagre.
"We find force in the contentions of appellants (Rajat and Sobhit) that compensation awarded was meagre...it appears that the State Commission did not take into account that the deceased was well educated and gainfully employed and her death had at a young age deprived the appellants of a mother which is an irreparable loss but also there was monetary and financial loss which could be quantified,...
"...we are of the view that a higher compensation is justified in the instant case," said the NCDRC bench of Justice Ashok Bhan, while increasing the compensation.
In their complaint to the State Commission, made in 1996, the two brothers, then minor, were represented by their maternal uncle, who said the appellants' mother had been admitted to the nursing home for surgery of hernia.
The complaint had alleged she suffered a cardiac arrest and later went into coma during the procedure and only after that the clinic arranged an oxygen cylinder.
They had also alleged that the operated area of the body was hurriedly and improperly stitched up by the doctors prior to shifting her to another hospital, where she had died after seven days.
The complainants/appellants had alleged that the nursing home and its doctors were medically negligent and had sought a compensation of Rs15 lakh from them.
The nursing home in its reply had denied the allegations and contended that it had provided her the best possible care.
It, however, admitted that the woman had suffered cardiac arrest after administration of anaesthesia.
The state commission had held the nursing home and Dr Gupta guilty of providing deficient service on the basis of the post-mortem report, which had also said that the operated area was not properly stitched up, subsequent to the surgery.