The patient, a young woman in her mid-twenties, delivered a boy under the care of a gynaecologist but suffered postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) thereafter. She was referred to another hospital for better management where she was diagnosed with acute renal failure and liver dysfunction.
She underwent dialysis but her condition didn’t improve. The second hospital referred her to a higher centre where she was diagnosed with postpartum acute kidney injury, due to severe acute tubular necrosis and sepsis leading to multi-organ failure. A multi-disciplinary team of doctors tried their best to cure the patient, but all efforts were in vain.
The patient suffered cardiac arrest and succumbed to complications. The cause of death was sepsis, multi-organ dysfunction syndrome, acute renal failure and PPH.
Her husband was evidently heartbroken. He sued the three hospitals and their doctors blaming them for the untimely death of his beloved.
The Commission could not offer a lot except understanding and empathy. From medical records, it was observed that the patient had some infection before the surgery. The gynaecologist and doctors at the first hospital, in order to save the infant’s life, performed C-section as an emergency procedure.
The Commission also observed that the line of treatment adopted by the other two hospitals and its doctors was also in line with established protocol. The patient’s husband was regularly updated about her life-threatening complications at every step.
In the case against gynaecologists, three hospitals and their’ doctors were dismissed.
Blaming the healthcare providers for an unfortunate outcome, especially when reasons for such an outcome are known, is simply unfortunate and unreasonable.
Source: Order pronounced by Gujarat State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 30th September 2021.
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