THURSDAY,31 January 2002

The Hindustan Times

The Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) has brought to light a case of medical negligence in which a woman admitted for delivery to a private hospital in Kota died allegedly because of carelessness of the doctors. Ramesh Chandra, husband of the victim, approached the Consumer Information Centre of CUTS, seeking guidance on how to get compensation for his wife’s death due to the negligence of doctors.

In this particular case, Hemlata, a 20-year-old woman, was admitted to Kota Stone Mariyam Hospital on July 9, 2000 for her delivery. She was having labour pains. Treating doctors verbally informed the husband that a Caesarean was needed. Hemlata gave birth to a baby boy by Caesarean section. But soon after, she started having convulsions which got out of control. Hemlata was referred to MBS hospital, Kota where she died.

Ramesh Chandra alleged that the doctors had just informed him verbally and not taken his written consent before going for a Caesarian. He said that adequate facilities were not available at the hospital. Blood was not arranged on time and there were no qualified anaesthetists at the hospital.

CUTS forwarded this case to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in November 2001. SHRC ordered Chief Medical Health Officer, Ramputa, Kota to form a committee for investigating the case.

A three- member committee including CMHO, Community Health Centre, Ramganj and another two specialists, Dr Ranjana Gupta and Dr KG Singhal investigated the case and submitted the report to the SHRC.

The committee stated in their report that no qualified anaesthetists were available at the hospital. No written consent was taken before the operation and blood was not arranged in time in the hospital. According to the report, patient was not treated carefully in absence of anesthetists and shortage of blood in the hospital.

Patient was referred to the higher centre when her condition became serious and she died because of non-availability of proper treatment on time.