Medical student alleges ragging, senior booked at Solan

Solan : The Dharampur police have registered a case of ragging against a doctor of MMU Medical College and Hospital, Sultanpur, after a post...
HomeLegal NewsPatient opts for Titanium Implant instead of Steel Implant

Patient opts for Titanium Implant instead of Steel Implant

Orthopedic surgeon and hospital fined “Rs.80 Lakhs” for using Steel Implant

Sambalpur, Orissa : The Sambalpur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has slapped a fine of around Rs 80 lakhs on an orthopedic surgeon, another doctor and the private hospital in Sambalpur holding them guilty of medical negligence in the surgery of a patient who underwent trauma and lost his job. The forum has directed the orthopedic surgeon posted at the government hospital Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR); assistant surgeon of city-based Sparsh City Hospital and Sparsh City Hospital to pay a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs each to the patient. This apart, the consumer court has also ordered to pay another Rs 18,66,140 which includes Rs  2,41,101 spent by the complainant towards medical expenses and a pecuniary loss of Rs 16,25,040 which the complainant suffered for about 60 months after losing his job.

The case relates to the complainant and patient, Sumit Dash of Modipara in Sambalpur who met with an accident and sustained multiple fractures in his leg, foot, and hand. He was immediately rushed to VIMSAR Hospital in Burla for treatment. However rather than treating the patient at the government hospital the attending orthopedic surgeon allegedly advised Dash’s family to shift him to a private hospital for surgery stating that he can be operated only after four days at the government hospital while he can be immediately operated in a private hospital. As per the orthopedic surgeon advise, the patient was shifted to the private hospital for surgery. During the pre-operative consultations, the family of complainant had requested the orthopedic surgeon and assistant surgeon to opt for titanium implant and not stainless-steel implant irrespective of the cost. However, the doctors went against his wish and fixed stainless-steel implant. Within a few months of surgery, the patient complained of pain on his right ankle and pus was formed around one of the screws implanted within. Though the patient approached the orthopedic surgeon for treatment, he only kept prescribing medicine to control the infection for the next 9 months which led to the worsening of his condition. Finally, Dash was compelled to move toSeven Hills Hospital in Visakhapatnam where corrective surgery was performed which resulted in multiple deformities in the treatment site including shortening of his right leg and the patient underwent treatments, operation and physiotherapy to restore normal functionality.

The court came down heavily against the orthopedic surgeon on two accounts viz firstly the court passed strictures against the orthopedic surgeon for not operating the patient in VIMSAR and referring it to a private hospital for treatment and secondly the court acknowledged the fact that though the patient has demanded the titanium implant the orthopedic surgeon opted for Stainless Steel implant as the same was available in the hospital. In the first count the court rejected the defense of the orthopedic surgeon that the patient has defied the medical advice (LAMA) and moved out of VIMSAR. The court said “ In the present case the fact that the patient left VIMSAR and consented to attend Sparsh City hospital is not important rather than it is important that Orthopedic Surgeon is part and parcel of VIMSAR but attended the patient in Sparsh City Hospital and has taken fees from the hospital.” On the second count the court refused to accept the contention of the Orthopedic Surgeon and others that the patient preferred stainless steel implant due to financial stringencies. The court said “… consideration that when the patient opted for Pvt Nursing home for treatment in place of govt. hospital, the contention that due to financial stringencies the patient preferred stainless steel implant is not acceptable.”