HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad district consumer disputes redressal forum has directed a city-based hospital and its medical practitioner to pay Rs 1.6 lakh compensation to a 32-year-old housewife for leaving a surgical mop (towel) inside her abdomen during a Cesarean section.
On March 28, 2011, Asma Parveen from Santosh Nagar was admitted at Muslim Maternity and Zanana General Hospital, Osmanpura, for delivery and underwent a C-section the next day. She gave birth to a baby boy and was discharged from the hospital on April 4, 2011.
Subsequently, on April 16, Asma approached Dr Swarnalatha, 48, medical practitioner at the hospital with complaints of fever and abdominal pain. She was advised to undergo ultra sonography at Nitya Diagnostic Centre, where the radiologist found that Asma aspired 500 ml of pus from her abdomen.
Despite multiple visits to the hospital and the doctor who performed the surgery on her, Asma was not relieved of the abdominal pain. On November 13, Asma underwent CT scan at a Dilsukhnagar clinic and the scan report showed that a foreign body was lodged in her abdomen. On December 1, the towel was removed from Asma's abdomen by Dr Ramesh at Maruthi Hospital in Champapet.
After the incident, Asma filed a petition before the Hyderabad district consumer forum-II on March 28, 2012, alleging that the hospital and Dr Swarnalatha did not take proper care and caution while conducting the C-section and kept the foreign body inside the abdomen, which amounts to negligence.
Asma told the forum that due to the negligence of the hospital and the doctor, she suffered physical and mental trauma for about eight months. She demanded that the hospital give her Rs 19 lakh as compensation and Rs 93,000 towards medical expenses.
In their response to the petition, the hospital representative and Dr Swarnalatha claimed there was no negligence on their part and the complaint was filed for raking in money.
After hearing the arguments, the forum, represented by president T Simhachalam and member P Kasthuri, stated that the opposite parties had failed in their duty to verify that all the articles brought to the operation table were taken back after surgery. As a result, the towel was left in the abdomen.
On October 30, 2015, the forum directed the respondents to pay Asma Rs 50,000 towards medical expenditure, Rs 1 lakh towards compensation for mental agony and trauma and Rs 10,000 towards costs in 30 days time.