CHENNAI: After going through medical records running into as many as 3,000 pages, the national consumer disputes redressal commission, New Delhi, has quashed the order of Tamil Nadu state consumer commission to slap Apollo Hospitals, Teynampet, with a fine of Rs 23 lakh to the parents of a 12-year-old boy, suffering from leukemia, who died after a bone marrow transplant in 2008.
According to R Muthukrishnan of Pallavaram, he took his son R M Vijaram to Apollo Speciality Hospital on February 11, 2008, where Dr Revathy Raj diagnosed it as leukemia in advanced stage. Vijaram was administered chemotherapy and was normal on the second day. The day after, Muthukrishnan alleged that Dr Raj compelled him to give assent for bone marrow transplant.
After the transplant on December 16, 2008, Vijaram died on April 17, 2009. Muthukrishnan then moved the state commission claiming compensation for medical negligence. He said the doctors failed to perform tests to negate the possibility of a particular virus (Cytomegalovirus. The test was done at a later stage, following which the hospital's infectious disease specialist prescribed a medicine, which was not available in the hospital.
Dr Raj went abroad between April 10 and 17, leaving the patient without proper care. The commission directed the hospital and Dr Raj to pay a compensation of 23 lakh. The hospital then filed a plea with the national commission.
Apollo Hospitals said it had informed Muthukrishnan about the patient's chance of survival even after BMT as between 5% and 10%. Informed consent was taken after explaining the high risk procedure. As none of the family member's stem cells matched with the patient, a worldwide search for cord and marrow donors was conducted for six months. But no match was found. So, the patient was advised for the high risk half identical stem cell transplant. After BMT, the patient died.
"The patient was already immuno-compromised, thus developed complications and there was no cure. It can't be considered medical negligence..." said the bench of presiding member Ajit Bharihoke and member S M Kanitkar adding, "The death of the patient was due to a number of complications, which were consequences of BMT."