“Nothing compelled the hospital to conduct surgery when it did not have the essential equipment,” said the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, slapping a fine of Rs 24.56 lakh on a private hospital for the death of a 37-year-old man due to “medical negligence”. In 2001, the hospital had conducted a brain surgery without having facilities like CT scan, due to which the condition of the patient could not be monitored after the surgery.
Family of the deceased had filed a complaint stating that he was admitted at a private hospital in New Friends Colony on November 19, 2001, after being advised to undergo surgery to remove a tumour in his brain. He was operated upon the next day by two neurosurgeons. Following the surgery, his condition deteriorated, and he went into a coma on November 24. He died the next day, the complaint said.
According to the hospital rules — which the family obtained through an RTI — it is mandatory for a neurosurgical centre to have all requisite facilities, including CT scan. However, the hospital did not have the facilities for the Non-Contrast Computerised Tomography (NCCT) or CT scan.
Denying the arguments, the hospital said the family was “well aware” that it did not have the facility of CT scan/NCCT.
The commission, headed by Judicial Member N P Kaushik, said it had sought medical experts’ opinion, according to which, “immediate NCCT of the head” was not conducted at the “first signs of deterioration”.