A district consumer forum has asked a city dentist to pay Rs one lakh to a patient as damages for triggering medical complications by operating upon him without ascertaining his blood sugar, believing his word that it was normal in a medical negligence case.
The consumer forum said that“Contributory negligence on the part of patient is no defence though it is a circumstance which can be taken into account in determining the quantum of compensation,” on the argument of Dr Vaneet Kakar that he had performed the surgery after his patient and complainant Fateh Singh had assured him that his sugar level was under control.
The North District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum held Dr Kakar negligent for not getting the blood sugar level of Singh checked despite having been informed by him that he was a diabetic, and instead relied on his word that his sugar level was under control.
“In our opinion, once the patient (Singh) had informed opposite party (Dr Kakar) that he was suffering from diabetes, it was sufficient for the opposite party to be on guard in handling the case. It was his duty to ask the complainant (Singh) to go for blood sugar test…
“In case report had suggested that it was on higher side, it was his duty to take precaution before going for root canal treatment on the complainant. There may be dereliction on the part of the complainant, but it does not absolve the opposite party of his negligence,” the bench presided by Babu Lal said.
Singh in his complaint had alleged that Dr Kakar had not checked his blood sugar prior to the dental surgery and due to his high sugar level, the operated area developed pus which infected his throat, which, in turn, required urgent surgery costing Rs 70,000.
He had also alleged that he had informed Dr Kakar that he was a diabetic but the dentist had said that won’t affect the surgical procedure.
Kakar in his defence had contended that he had performed the surgery as Singh had assured that his blood sugar was under control.