Jubilee Hills Apollo Hospital to pay woman Rs 5L compensation for botched chemo treatment

The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has directed Apollo Hospital in Jubilee Hills to pay a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs to a woman for botched chemotherapy treatment.

By Sumit Jha  Published on  25 Jun 2022 3:40 AM GMT
Jubilee Hills Apollo Hospital to pay woman Rs 5L compensation for botched chemo treatment

Hyderabad: The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has directed Apollo Hospital in Jubilee Hills to pay a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs to a woman for botched chemotherapy treatment.

P. Padma approached Apollo in March 2016 after she found a lump in her right breast. It was suspected to be duct carcinoma (a type of cancer). She underwent a right radical modified mastectomy and was discharged with the advice to undergo adjuvant chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy.

While on the fourth cycle of adjuvant chemotherapy, Padma's left hand became infected due to the negligence of the nursing staff while administering intravenous medicines. The patient informed the hospital about the infection and the doctors told her it was cellulitis, inflammation of the left forearm. They advised her to go for a general surgery consultation and intravenous injections.

Padma had consulted Dr. V. Sudhakar Prasad who suggested wound debridement followed by VAC therapy. He also told her that she would have to undergo surgery and her hand might have to be amputated up to the elbow. This frightened Padma and she did not go ahead with the surgery at Apollo.

Later, she approached Yashoda Hospitals where she was diagnosed with a "Raw wound left forearm volar Aspect" and was treated. She underwent debridement plus wound coverage with abdominal flat and underwent abdominal flat detachment.

Padma said she had to undergo physical and mental agony following the negligence of the doctors and staff of Apollo Hospitals and had to spend a lot of money subsequently.

Complaint based on conjectures: Hospital

Apollo, in its submission, said it is not very uncommon to develop local cellulitis at the site where the injection is administered as the drugs are very toxic. Extravasation of chemotherapy drugs is a known complication in 0.1 to 6.5% of all chemotherapy cases and the same was explained to the patient's family, it said.

"If the cellulitis is very extensive and not responding to treatment, the wound can progress, involving the whole limb. Amputation is recommended only when the limb necrosis is extensive, the infection is life-threatening, or the distal parts are ischemic," the hospital said.

It also added that the allegations are ex facie, self-contradictory, and no credence can be given to them. The complainant does not spell out what exactly was the negligence but has filed the complaint based on conjectures and surmises, it said.

Patient treated negligently: Commission

Hearing the arguments, the state commission said the hospital did not take care of the complainant and knew about the complications arising after surgery and chemotherapy treatments. They had to take utmost care of the complainant but failed to do so, it said.

Generally, doctors are treated as gods (Vaidyo Narayano Hari), but in this case, the hospital treated the complainant with carelessness and negligence. This attitude of the hospital clearly shows negligence and deficiency in services, the commission said.

It asked Apollo Hospitals to pay Rs. 5 lakhs as compensation for causing mental agony and trauma to the complainant.

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