The premier health institute, AIIMS, has been directed to pay Rs one lakh by a consumer forum to the parents of a girl child for alleged negligence in carrying out transplantation of cornea in her eye.
South Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum bench presided by Justice N.K. Goel asked the hospital to pay the money to the parents of Haryana resident Baby Priyanka, noting that three corneal graftings (surgery for cornea transplantation) in her left eye failed consecutively as they were done "without proper care and caution".
"The three consecutive failures of corneal graftings in the left eye of the patient by the doctors of the hospital (AIIMS) establishes that corneal graftings were not done with proper care and caution as was expected from medical experts and certainly failure was the result of negligence on the part of doctors in doing the corneal graftings," the forum said.
"Therefore, we hold the Opposite Parties (AIIMS and its doctors) guilty of deficiency in service," it said, directing AIIMS to pay Rs one lakh compensation to victim's parents.
It also noted that "there is every reason to believe that corneal grafting on all the three occasions in the left eye of the girl was done by the junior/trainee/new doctors and the grafting failed on all three occasions and, therefore, she was advised to undergo fourth corneal grafting in June 2005."
According to the complaint, the girl had suffered injury in her left eye with a knife and was operated by a doctor at Patiala in April 1998.
However, when she did not get any relief, she was taken to AIIMS for treatment in October 1998 and the three corneal graftings were done in her injured eye on different dates between 1998 and 2001, it said.
It said post that treatment the girl lost sight in her left eye and, thereafter, she was advised for fourth corneal grafting in June 2005 at AIIMS, it added.
The complaint added that three corneal graftings were performed in girl's left eye by the Junior/trainee/new doctors without there being any senior doctor and the junior/trainees/ new doctors did the treatment for their practical/learning purposes.
It was also alleged that few broken sutures (stitches) were found in the left eye of the girl which caused her immense pain for around four years.
AIIMS, however, had denied the allegations levelled against it.