Hyderabad: Star Hospital asked to pay family Rs 15L over patient’s death

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: City-based Star Hospitals here was directed to pay a patient Rs 15 lakh by a consumer court as compensation for death due to medical negligence. The direction was issued on April 12 by the District Consumer Redressal Commission, Hyderabad-3, based on a complaint filed by the family of the deceased, which sought Rs 2 crore as compensation for the loss of the 62-year-old man.

According to Vasumathi, wife of the deceased K. Janardhan Reddy, who is a resident of Hanamkonda, the issue began in February 2019 when her husband suffered from some mild fever, breathlessness and dry cough. After initial consultations in Hanamkonda, they were told that the issue was not with his lungs but that they had to consult with the cardiologist. Soon after, he was shifted to a private hospital for treatment in the ICU, and Janardhan Reddy recovered.

He was told that there were some blockades in the mitral valve of his heart, and that it may reoccur. Janardhan Reddy was asked to go for heart surgery to deal with the issue. However, the family was told that it was not urgent. After getting discharged from the hospital on February 17, 2019, the family consulted a doctor from Sunshine Hospital in Hyderabad. The doctor there advised them to go for surgery, and quoted a price of Rs 5 lakhs for the procedure.

However, the family for a second opinion also went to Star Hospitals in Banjara Hills. There they met Dr Gopichand Mannam, a cardiothoracic surgeon. After going through the test reports, the doctor informed the family that heart surgery was required for replacement of the mitral valve. Dr Mannam, according to the complainant, also said that besides the conventional methods for speedy recovery, there is a method called Minimal Invasive Surgery, and it would cost Rs.10.50 lakhs.

He reportedly assured the family that it was a safe method for performing the surgery and that the success rate is about 98%. On his assurance the complainant’s husband preferred to go for MIC though it cost double the amount when compared to the offer made by the Sunshine Hospital. Janardhan Reddy was admitted at Star Hospitals on February 27, 2019.

On 28 February 2019, after preparation, the patient was shifted into the operation theater for surgery. The complainant also said that her son, who had flown down from Canada as well, and other attendants and relatives, were under an impression that
the surgery would end at 11 am. However, they did not get any update for a really long time instead. At about 5 pm, Dr Mannam came out of the theatre and told the family there were some complications.

Finally at midnight, the family was informed that Janardhan Reddy passed away, sending everyone in a shock. Star Hospital in its defense however said that there was no negligence on its part. It said that the patient’s family was informed of the risks as well for the surgery.

The commission, after looking into the complaint and the hospital’s defense, also noted that the surgery went on for about 16 hours. After going through all the evidence at hand, it ruled that there was indeed medical negligence due to which the death occurred. Hence, it ruled that the hospital was at fault and asked it to pay the family Rs 15 lakh. The consumer court also asked the medical institution to pay an additional Rs 25000 to the family as litigation cost.

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