This is a discussion on Navjyoti Eye Centre within the Hospital forums, part of the Medical category; IN THE STATE COMMISSION:DELHI (Constituted under Section 9 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986) Date of Decision: 05-08-2008 Appeal No. ...
IN THE STATE COMMISSION:DELHI
(Constituted under Section 9 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986)
Date of Decision: 05-08-2008
Appeal No. A-07/670
(Arising out of Order dated 19-07-2007 passed by the District Forum (Central), Kashmere Gate, Delhi, in Complaint Case No. 64/2003)
Navjyoti Eye Centre,
Through Dr. Vivek Pal,
Proprietor. . . . Appellant
Through Ms. Ms. Anu Narula, Advocate
S/o. Mohd Afaq,
R/o. 1530, Chitli Qabar,
Delhi. . . . Respondent
Through Mr. Arvind Nayyar, Amicus Curiae
Justice J.D. Kapoor, President
Ms. Rumnita Mittal, Member
1. Whether Reporters of local newspapers be allowed to see the judgment?
2. To be referred to the Reporter or not?
Justice J.D. Kapoor (Oral)
1. On the allegations of medical negligence on the part of the appellant-doctor, in as much as the respondent who was a young man of 32 years lost his vision in the right eye, the District Forum vide impugned Order dated 09-07-2007 found the appellant guilty for medical negligence and directed him to pay Rs. 2.00 Las as compensation. Feeling aggrieved the appellant has preferred this appeal.
2. The allegations of the respondent leading to the impugned Order in brief were that hit by a saria (iron rod) by his neighbour on 27-10-2000 causing injury to his right eye, the respondent got himself admitted in the LNJP Hospital where the doctors referred him to Guru Nanak Eye Centre where he remained as indoor patient from 27-10-2000 to 04-11-2000. He was discharged after about 9-10 days treatment with the advice to do follow up from the said Eye Centre and simultaneously he was also advised to get treatment from some other affiliated/connected hospital and the respondent followed the instructions. However, not being satisfied with the treatment of the said government hospital, the respondent approached the appellant-doctor and on informing him that there was already a lens put in the injured eye by the government hospital during his treatment immediately after the injury but his sight had not improved, the appellant-doctor opined that the injured eye would have to be operated upon again for removing the said lens and he would again fix another lens, upon which his sight would be restored. The respondent followed the instruction and advice given by Dr. Vivek Pal of the O.P. hospital. He deposited Rs.16,500/- on the demand of the O.P-doctor and the operation was conducted on 16-05-2001 and it was assured by the respondent-doctor that his sight would be restored to the pre-injury state. During the treatment the appellant-doctor had put some fluids in his operated eye and when the respondent complained of acute pain he was asked to endure the pain and that everything would be alright. Again on 08-08-2001 when the respondent was admitted in the appellant-hospital some silicon oil was removed from his eye and despite his request no lens was fixed in the operated eye. The appellant-doctor admitted that they were doing some experiments on his right eye but they had failed and were helpless. As per the respondent he lost total vision in his right eye due to the negligence on the part of the appellant-doctor and after the AIIMS doctors had removed some silicon oil from his eye, though he felt some relief but the sight had not improved and he is still blind in his right eye.
3. As against this the version of the appellant-doctor is that when the respondent approached him, he had no visual recovery and was having persistent pain as he was suffering from retinal detachment. Further, that intra-ocular lens was fitted in his injured eye by Lady Harding Hospital but when he approached the appellant, the said lens had got displaced and he had to be operated upon on 16-05-2001 to relieve him of the acute pain. Silicon oil was put in order to attach the retina which was to be removed only after 8-12 weeks which was done accordingly by Dr. Guha of appellant-hospital. The respondent had lost complete vision as a result of the injury and the surgery conducted by the appellant-hospital was fully successful and mild pain is the consequence of any surgery. It was also pleaded that silicon oil is put to ward off any infection or pus. The appellant-doctor denied any negligence on his part or on the part of the hospital while pleading that a surgeon can only perform the surgery and cannot guarantee the results.
4. The District Forum has returned the finding of fact that the whole of the fluid – silicon oil was not removed and, therefore, the specialist of AIIMS removed the same on detecting it. The plea of the appellant that no new lens was put as there was no space and the lens had already displaced the intraocular vitreous cavity did not find favour with the District Forum for the reason that had the entire operation been successfully performed, there was no need for the respondent to get himself admitted in AIIMS.
5. Aforesaid finding of fact has been challenged by the Ld. Counsel for the appellant mainly on the premise that the documents relating to the AIIMS treatment produced by the respondent do not show removal of any silicon oil by AIIMS. Secondly, silicon oil was removed on 08-08-2001 and the respondent was supposed to visit the appellant on 11-08-2001 for removal of bandage and was to pay the remaining fees on 11-08-2001 and instead of coming to the appellant-doctor the respondent went to Sant Parmanand Hospital, who referred him to AIIMS. The document of AIIMS does not show removal of any silicon oil. Even if any technique whatsoever is applied the entire silicon oil cannot be removed and there would be some tiny residue that will remain in the eye.
6. The Ld. Counsel for the appellant further contended that whatsoever technique a surgeon may apply, some tiny droplets of silicon oil remain in the eye and these droplets do not cause any harm. Whether there were any tiny residues of silicon oil left or not, the respondent did not visit the appellant and, therefore, the appellant cannot be held guilty for not removing the silicon oil. The respondent had been going to various hospitals within an interval of one or two days. For instance, the respondent got the surgery at the appellant’s clinic on 16-05-2001 and went to Guru Nanak Eye Centre, Delhi, on 18-07-2001. Again he came to the appellant’s clinic on 08-08-2001and was asked to come on 11-08-2001 for removal of silicon oil and he was asked to come on 10-08-2001 but instead he again went to Guru Nanak Eye Centre on 10-08-2001 and again to Parmanand Hospital on 11-08-2001.
7. Another contention of the Ld. counsel for the appellant is that the documents of AIIMS relied upon by the respondent show in the column of ‘Diagnosis’ as under:-
“Rt. Eye Endopthalmytis. Silicon oil removed 4 days back.
Treatment given – Intra-vitreoul injection under local anaesthesia on 15-08-2001.”
8. This shows that the AIIMS only gave the injection on 15-08-2000, whereas silicon oil was removed by the appellant on 11-08-2000. Thus, in the opinion of the Ld counsel for the appellant, the respondent lost vision due to grievous injuries received in the eye when he was hit with a ‘saria’ (iron rod) by his neighbour and treatment given by the appellant was because the lens was dislodged causing persisting pain.
9. As against this, the Ld counsel for the respondent, while refuting the aforesaid contention of the appellant, contended that it was on the assurance of the appellant that after removing the old lens and implanting a new lens the vision would be restored, he undertook the treatment in the appellant’s clinic and it was the treatment given by the appellant that caused loss of vision primarily because of not removing the silicon oil for more than 8-12 days duration.
10. In our view, the limited negligence on the part of the appellant is non-removal of silicon oil that may not be the cause of loss of vision as the injury suffered by the respondent was very grievous and initial treatment was obtained by him at the previous hospital during which the lens was inserted, but when he came to the appellant the lens was found to be dislodged and since the respondent had been hopping around to various hospitals, i.e. once to Parmanand, once to AIIMS, once to Guru Nank Eye Centre and so on, the entire blame cannot be put on the appellant. Even for the removal of bandage he did not come to the clinic of the appellant and there is an observation in the AIIMS record that the silicon oil was removed and some tiny residue was left creating further problem.
11. As the possibility of the appellant having assured the respondent to restore the vision by way of second operation cannot be ruled out, it is difficult to accept that the appellant at the instance and insistence of the respondent might have put another lens. Being a medical professional it was for the appellant to decide whether another lens was to be put or not and not on the saying of the respondent who is a layman.
12. In the given facts, we deem that ends of justice will be met if we allow the appeal by reducing the amount of compensation to Rs. 50,000/-.
13. Appeal stands disposed of in aforesaid terms. Order shall be complied with within one month from the date of receipt of a copy of this Order.
14. A copy of Order as per statutory requirement be forwarded to the parties and to the concerned District Forum and thereafter the file be consigned to record.
15. FDR/Bank Guarantee, if any, be released under proper receipt.
(JUSTICE J.D. KAPOOR)