DR. S. M. KANTIKAR, MEMBER
1. On 16.06.2009, Ms. Chaitra, aged about 4 years, daughter of complainant, Mr. Rudresh, (herein referred to as “patient”) was suffering from fever, cough and vomiting. Dr. Srinivas V, the OP-1 gave injection in the left thigh of Chaitra and consequently she developed swelling and pain. Hence, on next day, she again approached OP-1, who referred her to Dr. Suresh Babu, on 18-09-2009. The complainant took his daughter to Basveshwara Medical College Hospital (BMCH), Chitradurga, for further treatment, where she underwent two surgeries and the complainant spent about Rs.2,00,000/-. She was admitted from 18-09-2009 to 16-10-2009. She further suffered open injury with pus and bleeding, hence, she took regular treatment in OPD. The doctors at Basveshwra Hospital advised the patient for further surgery (plastic surgery), which may cost Rs.50,000/-. Therefore, alleging medical negligence, the complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum, Chitradurga.
2. The District Forum dismissed the complaint; the first appeal filed by the complainant was also dismissed by State Commission. Hence, aggrieved by it, the complainant filed this revision petition.
3. We have heard the counsel for both the parties. The OP-2- IMA KPPS did not appear, therefore, it is proceeded against ex-parte.
The counsel for OP-1 submitted that, the complaint is not maintainable because, her father is not a consumer, the complaint should have been filed by the minor girl. The OP-1 is a private practitioner, a reputed Child Specialist, in Chitradurga. The patient was examined by him and proper treatment was given with medicines and injection. Due to suspected hematoma and swelling in left leg, OP-2, referred the patient to a Professor of Pediatrics, Dr. Suresh Babu at BMCH. The counsel further submitted that, there is no expert witness in this case, also not summoned or examined the doctors who treated the patient at BMCH. The OP-1 is indemnified under the Karnataka Professionals Protection Scheme from the OP-2 to the extent of limit for Rs.5,00,000/-.
4. We have perused the medical record on file. On 16-09-2009 Kumari Chaitra was suffering from high fever with cough and vomiting for the past 8 days and she was taken to OP-1, Dr. V.Srinivas. The prescription of OP-1 revealed proper medicines for cold and fever, and the injection Zobid. The patient was brought to the OP-1, again, on 18-09-2009, she was referred to Dr. Suresh Babu for expert management of hematoma in the thigh; and also suggested to rule out Dengue or bleeding diathesis. At BMCH, it was diagnosed as Cellulitis of left thigh, the patient was treated by a team of doctors from Surgery department consisting of Dr. Muralidhar, Dr. Viswanath and Dr. Ramesh.
5. It is pertinent to note that the District Forum obtained the opinion of Dr. S.G. Shiva Prasad, Child Specialist in Chitradurga and the relevant portion of which is reproduced below:
“The possibility of development of cellulitis/abscess does not appear to be because of any injection process administered on 16th, may be because of some other reason, well prior to that date.
The practitioner had discharged duty of care to the patient, he accepted to treat and he has brought to his task reasonable degree of skill and knowledge and exercised a reasonable degree of care.”
6. We are of considered view that, the OP-1 treated the patient for cough, fever and vomiting. We don’t find any flaw in his treatment. It was as per standard of practice. He suspected Dengue fever and also the possibility of bleeding diathesis as patient developed hematoma in the left thigh, hence, immediately, referred the patient to BMCH. It was the proper and bonafide decision taken by OP-1. Referring a patient to higher centre is not negligence. We have gone through several medical literature and Text book of Surgery, authored by Bailey and Love, which states that in some patients ‘cellulitis’ is observed, after IM injection. There was no deficiency in service or negligence as OP-1 took proper care, thereafter.
7. We would like to rely upon various judgments from Hon’ble Supreme Court. In “Martin F. D’Souza Vs. Mohd. Ishfaq” AIR 2009 SC 2049” it was observed that,
“Simply because a patient has not favorably responded to a treatment given by a doctor or a surgery has failed, the doctor cannot be held straightway liable for medical negligence by applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. No sensible professional would intentionally commit an act or omission which would result in harm or injury to the patient since the professional reputation of the professional would be at stake. A single failure may cost him dear in his lapse”.
In Jacob Mathew Vs. State of Punjab & Anr., (2005) 6 SCC 1 the Hon’ble Supreme Court had concluded that,
“a professional may be held liable on one of two findings : either he was not possessed of requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise with reasonable competence in given case, the skill which he did possess.”
8. Therefore, we are of considered view that, the OP-1 is a qualified Pediatrician, who treated the patient, as per standard norms. The expert opinion also supports the treatment aspects. We don’t find any negligence which caused cellulitis in left thigh. The patient was referred to higher centre, at proper time. On the basis of foregoing discussion and relying upon judgments (supra), we dismiss the revision petition.
There shall be no order as to costs.