Scan Centre Told to Pay Damages for Issuing Wrong Report to Patient

04 October, 2014

KOCHI: Whatever be the cause, medical negligence is unpardonable. But, what about the grave errors that occur due to simple clerical mistakes, which could have otherwise been avoided?, asked Maya Shyamnath, a complainant who approached the Ernakulam Consumer Redressal Forum.

Her complaint was against the proprietor of Amma Centre for Diagnosis and Preventive Medicine, Aluva, for subjecting her to treatment for a disease which she was not suffering from. The incident happened  in 2013.

Instructed by her gynaecologist, a pregnant Maya went for an ultrasonography (USG) scan  on April 16, 2013. The scan report clearly stated that the patient was suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Hence, the doctor advised her to undergo treatment for renal failure. The twin-fetuses was aborted after the report indicated some complications.On June 3, 2013, the abortion was confirmed by the doctor. Then, Maya was referred to a urologist at a private hospital in Kochi for further treatment. The urologist asked her to undergo a urine test and X-ray examination.

Surprisingly, the reports showed that the patient was ‘normal’, and the urologist told Maya to undergo a CT scan, which also showed that she did not have any kidney ailment. On further examination, it was found that on one side of the copy of the scan report provided by Amma Centre for Diagnosis and Preventive Medicine, there was a report of some other patient who had renal disease.

Mistaking this report as an extension of Maya’s original report, the gynaecologist had asked her to undergo treatment for renal failure.

The Forum observed that the supply of an unauthenticated scan report to a patient by a technician or office staff without the authority of the consultant was opposed to reason and unbelievable. Hence, the Forum observed that the report was issued by the consultant himself, who was attempting to escape the blame by making his staff a scapegoat.

“So, we feel that it is a classic case where an investigation was conducted, and reports were issued with carelessness and negligence,” the Forum noted. Since the complainant had to suffer mental agony and financial loss, she is not only entitled to be refunded the treatment expenses, but also to get compensation.

At the same time, though the complainant argued that she was forced to abort her twin-fetuses due to the mistake committed by the scanning centre the Forum did not buy it as her original scan report showed that the abortion was a must irrespective of whether she had renal disease or not. Hence, the Forum asked the scanning centre to pay a compensation of `50,000, against `2 lakh demanded by the complainant.