“The transfusion made at the Hospital cannot be termed as 100% safe and hence no negligence cannot be attributed to Doctors…..”

Case for Rs.90 lakhs compensation dismissed…

The national Commission has reiterated the view of Apex Court, in the case of SANDEEP KUMAR V/s. PGIMER, Chandigarh

Facts in short :

1. The Complainant who is a qualified male nurse, is suffering from bleeding disorder, i.e., Haemophilia-A since his birth occasionally used to get blood transfusion at PGIMER.

2. One day he met with an accident was taken to Civil Hospital Khanna and according to the Complainant he narrated about his disorder and that Doctor instead of referring him to PGIMER, gave some medicines and as a result of which, he suffered from malina (bleeding in stool).

3. Thereafter in his subsequent admission to PGIMER he underwent fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfusion and it was alleged that in this course, he developed and diagnosed as Hepatitis-C positive due to some reaction.

4. Thus he field a case for medical negligence against both the hospitals claiming Rs.90 lakhs.. He also claimed that he could no longer be able to work as male nurse.

Defense :

1. Both the hospitals refuted the allegations against them. IT was submitted that reactions to FFP are known to occur in multi-transfused individuals, but in the present case the reaction cannot be attributed for development of Hepatitis C.

2. The PGIMER provides FFP support free of cost to 200 to 250 Haemophilic patients every year.

3.It was argued on behalf of Khanna hospital that at the time of his admission in the hospital, there was no visible injury on him and he was only complaining of some pains.

Held :

1. The NCDRC upheld the judgment of State Commission which dismissed the complaint.

2.It is proved that the persons who treated the complainant performed their duties as was expected from the professionals having ordinary skills in their fields.

3. The reports received from prominent Institutes like AIIMS and medical literature reveals that the transfusion made at the Hospital cannot be termed as 100% safe and hence, it shall not be justified to attribute any negligence on the part of the treating doctors or the hospital.

4. It relied upon the celebrated judgment of Ho. Apex Court In the case of “Jacob Mathew v. State of Punjab [(2005) 6 SCC]” wherein Hon’ble Apex Court have dealt with the issue of medical negligence in detail and stated in their conclusion as follows:-

“(1) Negligence is the breach of a duty caused by omission to do something which a reasonable man guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. The definition of negligence as given in Law of Torts, Ratanlal & Dhirajlal (edited by Justice G.P. Singh), referred to hereinabove, holds good. Negligence becomes actionable on account of injury resulting from the act or omission amounting to negligence attributable to the person sued. The essential components of negligence are three: “duty”, “breach” and “resulting damage”

5. The Commission further observed that even if plea of lack of informed consent is to be accepted at this stage, PGIMER report clarifies that that the chances of contracting such disease during the FFP transfusion were almost negligible, negligence could not have been attributed to the treating doctors.

This is indeed a very important judgement as Blood Transfusion is conducted routinely in every hospital. One may wonder after reading the figure of compensation claimed. As CPA is a social legislation, the Complainant is not required to pay court fees which is otherwise payable in other civil cases. So one can claim any amount in the compliant, but burden to prove the eligibility to receive such compensation lies on the Complainant.

Adv. Rohit Erande

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