Justice a far cry for this little victim of medical negligence

03 November, 2016

Kusuma, who slipped into coma following damage to her brain is now limping back to normalcy.

 She was rushed to K C General Hospital with fever and hospitalised on December 3, 2015. But, doctors didn’t attend to her though she had repeated episodes of epileptic seizures, says her father Shivakumar, an autorickshaw driver. 

He claims that when they took Kusuma to the hospital, doctors only administered paracetamol following basic tests.

 “By afternoon, my daughter started shivering. When asked, the nurse at the ward just asked me to wrap another bedspread around the child. Repeated requests to call the doctor went unheard,” he added. 

Kusuma had episodes of seizures through the noon. “It was only around 3 pm that a doctor attended to the child and said she ‘could’ be having a brain tumor. He did not refer the child elsewhere but expressed his helplessness,” claimed Shivakumar. 

At about 9 pm the same day, when Kusuma’s condition worsened, her father had to request a 108 ambulance driver on the hospital premises to shift her to a private one. She was denied admission at the private hospital as her condition was ‘çritical.’ 

“We had to take her to M S Ramiah Hospital where the doctors informed us that her condition was critical as she was not given treatment on time. We were also told that her present condition could be a result of the inappropriate injection technique of a medication that was administered at K C General Hospital,” Shivakumar said.

Kusuma is now undergoing physiotherapy and is on treatment for the damage to the brain. 

Nearly a year on, innumerable trips to Health Minister’s office have not helped Shivakumar. 

He had written to Health Minister K R Ramesh Kumar who in turn directed principal secretary (health and family welfare) to conduct an inquiry into the incident. But there has been no progress. 

Even Women and Child Development minister Umashree has written to the health minister in this regard.

Missing details

A look at Kusuma’s in-patient registration form at K C General Hospital shows that several details are missing. There is no mention of provisional diagnosis, final diagnosis or signature of the treating consultant even as the columns are mentioned in the form.