Fine for deficient care

The Delhi State Consumer Redressal Commission has imposed a Rs 30 lakh fine on a private hospital in Delhi in a case where a needle was left in a woman’s uterus during a childbirth procedure. The commission has described this as a case of deficient care but has stopped short of calling it medical negligence, the Hindustan Times reported.

The case goes back to September 2009 when the woman went to Shree Jeewan Hospital to have her child. The needle was left inside the uterus during an episiotomy, a procedure in which a surgical cut is made to enlarge your vaginal opening for delivery of the baby and then stitched up. The commission noted that hospital employed a pharmacist to carry out the episiotomy instead of a qualified doctor.

The commission also noted that the hospital tried to manipulate records to hide the fact that there was no competent doctor present during the delivery of the child.

According to the complaint the needle caused profuse bleeding profusely, pain and trauma. An X-ray later revealed the presence of the needle and it was removed from the uterus in the same hospital. The woman was told that her uterus had retroflexed, or tilted abnormally towards her spine, and she would not be able to conceive again.

Even though the hospital admitted the presence of needle in the woman’s uterus, it denied negligence.

Overpriced intraocular lenses

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration has reported to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority that hospitals in the state have been pricing intraocular lenses at between 200% and 300% of their purchase price. Intraocular lenses are used in cataract surgeries to replace the natural lens that is damaged and removed. They are classified as medical devices.

An FDA official told The Hindu that the authority surveyed several hospitals offering cataract surgeries and found that since their was no price regulation of intraocular lenses there was a large gap between the cost to the hospitals and the cost to patients. A lens with an import price of Rs 2,737 and price to retailer at Rs 6,500 was sold to the patient for Rs 18,500.

The official said that like the coronary stents, intraocular lens prices should be regulated by bringing them under the essential list of medicines.

Death from Ayurvedic weight loss

A 17-year-old girl in Erode died after starting Ayurvedic treatment for weight loss, according to a report in the The News Minute. The girl, a student of Sri Balakrishna Polytechnic College, was overweight and had a wheezing problem. She went to the Herbocare Ayurvedic Hospital in the city where she was guaranteed weight loss with treatment.

The girl’s parents told the news website that she had nine days of treatment and was then given medicines. After two days of taking the medicines, the girl started having bouts of fainting and “was behaving like a three-year-old.”

The parents took the girl back to the hospital where she was unconscious for four days. The hospital later told the parents that she was recovering. However, the girl later died. The parents allege that the ambulance that brought their daughter’s body back to their house left the body on the doorstep.

A post-mortem has been conducted and a case of unnatural death has been filed witht he police.