Sunday, February 9, 2020

Mop in Stomach: Doctor ordered to pay ₹6.85 lakh

The Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has ordered a Surat-based gynecologist to pay Rs 6.85 lakh to a woman for forgetting a mop in her abdomen after her C-section surgery.
Dr. Meena Vankawala will be paying the amount to one Bhavi Mehta, who was admitted to her hospital in March 2012. She delivered a son after undergoing surgery. She complained that her baby swallowed fluid during birth and hence suffered various health problems. The baby’s treatment lasted long at different hospitals.
After C-section surgery, the woman continued to feel pain in her abdomen. She consulted other doctors but did not get any relief. Finally, on May 14, 2012, she was hospitalized and sonography reflected a foreign body in her abdomen. She was operated upon and a mop of the size of 15x12 mm was found in her stomach.
Mehta sued Dr. Vankawala, her hospital and the insurance company in the consumer commission for medical negligence.
She also supplied a medical report saying that Dr. Vankawala did not remove the mop during the surgery. The case lasted for seven years and the commission accepted the patient’s claim that it was a case of medical negligence.
The commission said, “This is a case of medical negligence which is highly difficult to establish... There is no dispute that the cotton mop was left during the operation in the body of complainant No. 1(Mehta)... doctor had not taken any care to remove the mop from the body of the complainant, otherwise, she might not have suffered such severe and unbearable pain for long. This itself suggests concluding that the doctor was careless and negligent at the time of performing the operation on her.”
The complainant had sought  hefty amount of over Rs 90 lakh towards compensation for the trouble she and her son had undergone. But the consumer commission said that she was entitled to get Rs 5 lakh towards compensation, and Rs 1.5 lakh for the medical expenses she had incurred. The doctor and her insurance company were also ordered to pay Rs 25,000 to the patient for mental agony caused to them besides Rs 10,000 towards legal expenditure.

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