Justice RK Agrawal (President) and Dr. SM Kantikar (Member) of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) have maintained that a mismatch in blood transfusion resulting in a patient’s death is medical negligence.
As a result, it ordered a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram to pay a compensation of Rs. 20 lakh to the family of a lady who died there in 2002, as well as Rs. 1 lakh in litigation costs.
At the Samad Hospital, a woman named Sajeena and her husband, AK Nazeer, were undergoing infertility therapy. Sajeena’s blood transfusion began after her laparoscopic surgery for fibroid uterus, but she quickly had difficulties, which were later determined to be a reaction to a defective blood transfusion in which she was given B+ blood instead of O+ blood.
After the woman’s death, Nazeer filed a case with the Kerala State Commission, requesting a compensation of Rs 45 lakh plus Rs 4.5 lakh in interest for medical expenses.
The hospital, on the other hand, disputed any mismatch in blood transfusions, claiming that the difficulties were quickly managed but that the patient developed DIC (Disseminated Intra Vascular Coagulation). Sajeena had difficulties that were beyond their control and expectations, it was said. Doctors later sought professional advice and immediately referred the patient to a higher level of care for better management.
The commission partially upheld the complaint and ordered the hospital and doctors to reimburse the family INR 9.33 lakh.
The erring parties filed an appeal with the NCDRC against this order.
As a result, it was determined that the patient received the wrong blood and that the hospital staff was negligent.
The Commission went on to say that if a transfusion reaction is suspected, the treating doctor must transmit a blood sample from a limb on the opposite side, along with the blood, for cross-matching, while referring to details of anaesthetic and other data, as well as expert testimony. Dr. Valentina proved that the extreme bleeding was caused by a transfusion response caused by mismatched blood.
As a result, the NCDRC determined that the State Commission erred in calculating the compensation figure of INR 9,33,000, and that the complainants are entitled to further compensation.
The appellants were represented by senior advocate Gopakumaran Nair and advocate Priya Balakrishnan.
Senior Advocate V Mohaha and advocate Usha Nandini V represented the respondents.