HYDERABAD:The Ranga Reddy District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here has directed a private hospital and one of its general surgeons to pay a minor girl Rs 8 lakh in compensation for cutting off her common bile duct during a surgery and for failing to repair it properly.
B Deepika (13) was admitted to St Theresa’s Hospital on September 10, 2013 with abdominal pain and vomiting. Dr K.Lalitha, general surgeon at the hospital, examined the girl and found that she had multiple gall stones in her gallbladder and right renal calculus (stone in the right kidney).
On the doctor’s advice the girl underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy for the removal of the gallbladder stones.
After the surgery, Deepika suffered from abdominal pain and jaundice. Further tests at a corporate hospital revealed that the upper common bile duct had been cutoff and there was biliary leak. It was also observed that biliary sphincterotomy had been done, of which Deepika and her mother had no knowledge.
The next day, the doctor and the hospital management referred the girl to Sai Vani Super Speciality Hospital for further evaluation and the patient was informed that she was suffering from type-4 biliary injury and was advised to undergo laparotomy. Left with no alternative, Deepika’s mother gave her consent for the surgery.
During the surgery, doctors found out that the common bile duct had been completely cutoff at hilum and the proximal end of hilum was ligated and could not trace the distal end. After necessary treatment the girl was discharged on September 29, 2013 and was advised regular follow-ups for the next two years.
Deepika’s mother alleged that Dr Lalitha of St Theresa’s failed to take proper care and exhibit necessary skill while conducting the surgery and that was the reason why the common bile duct and common hepatic duct were cut off. Alleging gross negligence and deficiency of service on the part of the hospital and Dr Lalitha, she approached the forum for justice and compensation.
In their written version, the opposite parties said that all bile duct injuries cannot be identified at the time of surgery and some can be identified only after operation and the injuries whether intra-operative or post-operative can be corrected mostly by hepato-biliary surgeons. As there was no ‘negligence’ on their part, they prayed that the complaint be dismissed.
The bench concluded that it was during the surgery for gallbladder removal, i.e. cholecystectomy, done by Dr Lalitha that the CBD was cut off. “This is a clear case of res ipsa loquitor (the thing speaks for itself) and we hold that the facts speak volumes about the negligence of the surgeon,” the bench said.
The forum, comprising president R Gopala Krishna Murthy and member IL Prasanthi passed an order in favour of Deepika and directed the opposite parties to jointly and severally pay a sum of Rs 8 lakh in compensation and Rs 20,000 towards costs of filing the case.