KSCH to pay Rs 10L for giving HIV+ blood to infant

 

Kalawati Saran Children Hospital (KSCH) has been ordered by Delhi Consumer Commission to pay Rs 10 lakh as damages to the parents of a child for transfusing HIV infected blood to him 14 years ago in his infancy.

The child hospital, affiliated to Lady Hardinge Medical College, and its doctor Ajay Kumar were held guilty by the commission of committing “sheer medical negligence” in giving the HIV-infected blood to the then three-day-old child.

A bench of commission’s judicial member V K Gupta and member Salma Noor held the hospital guilty of negligence relying upon the documents of the medical history of the now 14-year-old boy, his parents and the expert opinion of the Medical Board of Maulana Azad Medical College.

It held the hospital and the doctor jointly and severally liable to pay the compensation.

“It was the duty of opposite party 3 (Dr Kumar) and 2 (hospital) to examine the blood to come to a certainty that it does not contain any HIV infection. The transfusion of the blood to the patient is not in dispute. Obviously, there is a sheer medical negligence on the part of the opposite parties 2 and 3 in not examining and ensuring that the blood does not contain any HIV infection.

“Initially the patient had the ailment of diaphragmatic hernia and his operation was conducted on June 12, 1998 when he was three-day-old and on account of medical negligence, he now has the ailment of HIV.

The commission ordered payment of damages to the boy’s parents saying the tenager has been subjected to a deadly disease.

The commission’s order had come on a complaint by the child’s parents, residents of Delhi, who had said that their son was never free of ailments subsequent to his treatment at the KSCH in 1998 and on tests at Safdarjung Hospital here, he was diagnosed with HIV in January 2006.

They had said their son had undergone surgery at the KSCHfor diaphragmatic hernia and during the procedure 150 ml of blood was transfused to him.

The blood had been procured from the blood bank of Sucheta Kripalani Hospital, which too is affiliated to Lady Hardinge Medical College, they had said.

In its defence, the hospital had contended that the blood was procured from the blood bank of the medical college which had conducted necessary screening and testing of the blood.

The hospital had added that only HIV negative blood had been transfused into the infant, so there was no question of negligence and carelessness on its part.

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