Friday, October 31, 2014

Napkin size Mop in tummy: Doctors lose plea against fine

The Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has rejected the appeal of city-based doctor Manubhai Pipalia who, along with another doctor, was asked to pay Rs 2.1 lakh as compensation for forgetting a napkin-size mop inside a patient's stomach during a surgery. Instead, the commission asked the doctors to pay Rs 2.1 lakh with 8% interest. 

Last year, Dr Pipalia was ordered by a consumer forum to pay to the widow of one Tribhuvan Chauhan who passed away in December 2009. These two doctors had operated on him at a Bapunagar hospital in November 2008 and forgotten to remove a cloth mop from the patient's stomach. The surgery took place after a doctor said that Chauhan was suffering from stomach pain caused by various problems related to kidney, liver, intestine and gall bladder. 

However, Chauhan's troubles did not end after the surgery. His case was then referred to the Civil Hospital, where a sonography report showed that the patient's stomach was showing signs of septic infection. A biopsy report also revealed that Chauhan was suffering from cancer. A surgery took place on him in May 2009 at the Civil Hospital and the surgeon removed the mop from his stomach. Chauhan, however, did not live long after that. 

Chauhan's widow, Ratankumari, and two minor children moved the consumer forum demanding Rs 15 lakh from the doctors for their negligence. They asked for Rs 3 lakh for their suffering and Rs 10,000 towards legal expenditure. The doctors claimed innocence and took the defence that Chauhan's claim that a mop was left behind inside his body came 155 days after the surgery. 

In the meantime, the patient must have undergone some treatment. The two doctors also claimed that an X-ray report obtained after surgery on his advice at the Kakadia Multi-Specialty Hospital in Bapunagar did not show any object inside the patient's stomach. However, the consumer court came to the conclusion last year that the doctors were negligent during the surgery.

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