SETTING aside a lower court order, the State Consumer Forum granted relief to a Byculla-based doctor, who was asked to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakhs to a patient. A district consumer forum had concluded that because of doctor’s wrong method of administration of the gluteal injection, there was damage to the sciatic nerve on right side of the patient.
While granting him relief the court observed that the incident was an accident and there was no deficiency in service and medical negligence while giving treatment to the opponent (patient). According to the plaint, Vidhyavasini Rajbhar, a resident of Govandi, visited Dr Sanjay P Patil, on March 14, 2009, complaining of chest pain. Dr Patil gave an injection in his right buttock. After sometime, he started complaining of pain, tingling and numbness for which the doctor gave some ‘remedial’ injection.
Three days later, when Rajbhar didn’t get any relief, he approached Dr Patil again, who referred him to Sion Hospital, where he was diagnosed to have right tibial and peroneal nerve lesions with mild sensory motor neuropathy.
Rajbhar told the court that the gluteal injection was given by a compounder at Dr Patil’s clinic due to which he suffered other complications. There were three witnesses, who informed the court they heard Rajbhar scream after the injection was administered. He also submitted the referral receipt given by Dr Patil, mentioning ‘sciatic nerve injury’.
Rajbhar’s lawyer also pointed out before the court, the expert opinion from one Dr R L Singh, who opined that the intramuscular injection has caused sciatic nerve injury. The complainant pleaded that he was working as driver and due to this injury lost his job, while seeking compensation. Dr Patil told court that patient suffered from giddiness after the injection for which he immediately gave remedial injection. “The doctor has followed the standard practice of giving injection and once the complication took place accidentally he took all the steps necessary to treat the complication,” Dr Patil’s lawyer told court. Dr Patil also submitted a expert opinion given by Dr C S Kambli, BSc, MBBS, which mentioned that there are inherent risk factors of giving injection in patients with poor muscle mass.
Judge D R Shirasao and Member Dr S K Kakade, held, “We are of the opinion that, the injury that followed the intramuscular injection was purely accidental one.” The judge in his order noted that as defined in Oxford English dictionary, accident is an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally. The court held, “One can get such injury even at the best hands, due to various factors discussed by the expert opinion. As the doctor recognised the injury immediately and took steps to treat the same, he has followed accepted practice and used ordinary skill needed.”