CHENNAI: Nine years after a 15-year-old boy died of severe abdominal pain, the state consumer disputes redressal commission has ordered a private multi-speciality hospital in Coimbatore to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the boy’s parents, indicting the delay of nearly two-and-a-half hours in attending the patient.
The commission, presided by justice R Regupathi, also pulled up the doctors in the Kovai Medical Center and Hospital for failing to diagnose the condition of the patient even after conducting X-ray scans, ultimately leading to the boy’s death on the same evening.
The boy, S Magudapathy was in his school at Perundurai in Erode district on July 2, 2005 when he suddenly suffered severe back and abdominal pain. He was taken to the Perundurai branch of the Kovai Medical Center and Hospital in the school bus. As the doctors in both the Perundurai and Erode branches of the hospital were unable to diagnose the reason for the sudden pain, he was referred to the main campus of the hospital at Coimbatore which he reached by 4 pm.
According to the counsel of Magudapathy’s parents, a duty doctor at the emergency ward examined the boy and said there is nothing warranting emergency treatment and was referred to Dr Rajkumar, who was general surgeon in the hospital. As he was busy in another surgery, he could come to examine the boy only by 6.30 pm. Within a few seconds of Dr Rajkumar reaching the ward, Magudapathy collapsed and was rushed to the ICU ward as his condition became critical.
The boy was declared dead at 7.45 pm. Only after the boy’s death, the doctors ascertained that the boy died of massive blood leak into the right chest due to dissection of a blood vessel.
Highlighting this and other symptoms exhibited by the boy, the commission, in its order noted that “doctors with reasonable skill and diligence would have normally diagnosed the problem at least after taking X-rays, scans etc.”
“It is significant to note that the case has been handled very casually without taking any seirous and alternative steps and made the patient wait for the arrival of the general surgeon for two and half hours,” the order read. The commission directed the hospital to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to parents of Magudapathy.