Bengaluru: Woman disabled, panel tells hospital to pay her Rs 25 lakh

After delivery, she started shivering, nurse put hot water bags under her legs, injuring them

Published: 24th October 2022 06:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2022 06:35 AM   |  A+A-

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For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Holding Tamara Hospital and IVF Centre in Bengaluru responsible for negligence that led a 28-year-old woman to suffer permanent disability, the Consumer Commission directed the hospital to pay her Rs 25 lakh compensation, 

Rs 2,47,288 medical expenses with 10 per cent interest, and Rs 50,000 litigation expenses. The woman suffered burns caused by excessive heat of hot water bags kept near her ankles after delivering a baby. 
The woman, a resident of Sriramapuram, gave birth to a baby girl through Caesarean section, at 1pm in March 2020.

After delivery, she experienced a severe bout of shivering, so the duty nurse put two hot water bags under her legs, near the ankles, and covered her with blankets right up to the neck. But she failed to inform the complainant’s attendants, who were present in the room, taking care of the baby. 

Since the complainant was under anaesthesia, she did not experience any sensation or pain. After the anaesthesia effect faded about 4 pm, she felt a prickly sensation below the ankle. Her mother removed the blanket covering her legs and found two hot water bags below her ankles, and was shocked to find her skin breaking out in bubbles filled with water. 

The woman couldn’t stand or walk, resulting in permanent disability. Even after visiting two hospitals in the city, undergoing plastic surgery in Kerala and getting treated for keloid, her condition did not return to normal. She approached the hospital, which initially agreed to bear the expenses of treatment but finally offered only Rs 50,000 as a goodwill gesture, forcing the woman to approach the Consumer Commission.

The Commission, comprising president HR Srinivas and member YS Thammanna, said, “The principles for granting compensation is that it should not be a lottery, bonanza or windfall to the complainant but should be adequate, just, proper and reasonable for the sufferings of the complainant.”

The Commission also said that if there was no negligence or deficiency in service in providing treatment, the hospital would not have ventured to offer a gesture of goodwill. This alone goes to show that 
in order to cover their deficiencies, they have come forward to pay an amount to see that the matter does not become public, as it would be a blow to their hospital doctors.

Noting that the woman was deprived of enjoying motherhood due to her sufferings, the Commission stated that it is pathetic that the complainant was unable to walk or stand on her own, and requires support even to rise from a chair. 

“It clearly shows that she has become incapacitated for life and work independently. In our view, she has become a permanently disabled person,” the Commission observed. On the hospital’s contention that the complainant’s mother had sought a hot water bottle, the Commission observed that the hospital, doctor and nursing staff have to take utmost care of the patient and it cannot act on the advice or request of the patient or relatives.


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