City Hospital Fined For Wheelchair Mishap

Published: 18th September 2014 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2014 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: A big hospital in Jayanagar has been fined `25,000 for causing a patient to fall from a wheelchair.

Sagar Hospital, near Tilak Nagar, was recently pulled up by a consumer court on two counts: negligence with the wheelchair, and leaving the patient on a stretcher in a corridor for an hour-and-a-half.

The II Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, comprising president T Rajashekaraiah and member M Yashodhamma, stressed it was the hospital’s duty to ensure a patient’s safety.

Mohinder Singh, the complainant, had been to the hospital for a knee replacement surgery, for which he was charged `4.5 lakh.

He underwent the surgery on May 12, 2012.

A day before the procedure, he fell from a wheelchair and developed pain in the chest.

His petition said the hospital staff had pushed the wheelchair at high speed and flung him on to the hard floor.

He developed acute pain in the chest and right shoulder. Doctors told him the pain would go away in a few days, but it persisted even after two years, getting worse every time he coughed or sneezed, Singh  said.

Singh also complained he had lost the ability to lift his right arm above the shoulder.

After the operation, he was shifted to the ICU. Two days later, moving him out, the staff left him on a stretcher in the corridor for an hour-and-a-half, as the ward allotted to him had not been cleaned.

Hearing his complaint, the forum accepted that the hospital had been deficient in service. The hospital didn’t deny the allegations either, but said Singh had fallen when the wheelchair was snagged by a carpet.

The forum observed that not strapping a safety belt on the patient also amounted to negligence. It also ruled that the hospital was wrong to leave the patient in the corridor for so long.

It directed the hospital to pay `25,000 to Singh with two years’ interest and `5,000 as litigation charges. Dr Prem Chandra Sagar, vice-chairman and CEO of Sagar Hospitals, against whom the case was filed, was not available for comment.

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