Mumbai doctor pays for absence during delivery

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 27 Maret 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A consumer forum recently directed a doctor to pay a compensation of Rs 19 lakh (including interest) to a Malad woman who lost her child hours after birth due to his absence during birth and late arrival when the child was in distress.

"The death was due to the doctor's negligence. He is responsible for the trauma caused to the family," the Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said.

It said the doctor was aware that the woman was in a pregnancy that had exceeded the normal term and under such circumstances his continuous presence and extra caution were absolutely necessary during the birth.

A complaint was filed by the child's mother, Sonu Kareer, and the case was argued by the father, Pankaj. Sonu was pregnant and had approached the doctor, who owned the nursing home, Matruchhaya, in 2003. When she went for her check-up on October 18, the doctor told her that the child could arrive anytime. The doctor also advised Sonu to admit herself at another hospital at Kandivli on the onset of labour pains.

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Sonu went into labour and was taken to the hospital at 12.30pm on October 28. The doctor arrived at about 4pm, and after conducting an examination concluded that she would deliver in 15 minutes. The doctor then left for home. Sonu experienced severe discomfort at 5.30pm. When she asked for the doctor, the nurse informed her that he would arrive soon, and wheeled her into the operation theatre. The child was born with only the nurse overseeing the delivery. When the doctor arrived, he advised the family to take the child to a children's hospital. But the child was pronounced dead on arrival at the children's hospital.

The forum refuted the doctor's claim that the baby was stillborn and that he had done everything possible to revive him. It observed that the post-mortem report showed that the death was unnatural and caused due to asphyxia. The forum stated that after the child was born, the umbilical cord was found to be wrapped around its neck, and he was breathing laboriously due to this. "This is enough to prove that the child was alive when he was born," the forum said.

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