Case Study

Drug Reaction as cause of Death

Decided by the Hon’ble NCDRC on 07 Jun 2018

Facts: The complainant’s young energetic son (for short ‘patient’) had suffered fever on 14-04-2003 and at 7.30 p.m. on that day, he was taken to the clinic of Dr. Satish Chaturvedi, the OP.  The OP, without examining the patient, administered two injections and a bottle of glucose.  Immediately after that, red patches appeared on the whole body of the patient, which later turned into boils.  The patient was sent back to his house by the OP.  On the same day, at about 09:30 P.M., the condition of the patient further deteriorated and the complainant took his son to the clinic of OP, but it was closed.  He made telephonic call from the nearby Shipra Medical Store and apprised the OP about the condition of the patient.  The OP asked the sale person in the medical store to hand over two tablets to the complainant.  The patient consumed two tablets and came back home but at about 3.30 a.m. the condition of the patient became critical and he was taken to SMS Hospital, Jaipur, where he was declared “dead”. Postmortem was also conducted and FIR was registered with the police. Therefore, the complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum, Jaipur for alleged medical negligence on the part of the OP and prayed for compensation at `15,00,000/- along with interest at the rate of 18% per annum and `2,00,000/- for mental agony and `21,000/- towards litigation charges.The OP admitted that the patient was brought to him with high grade fever. After examination, he was found as suffering from Gastroenteritis, pyrexia and there were rashes on the body due to  drug reaction.   Before approaching the OP, the patient took treatment from “` 5 wala” doctor. The OP also contended that only after diagnosis; anti-emetic and anti-allergic injections were administered and patient was sent home.  The OP submitted that, as per  the PM report, the patient died due to Quinine toxicity and   cardiac arrest. 

OBSERVATIONS: According to the prescription, OP had given injections of anti-emetic and anti-allergy treatment to control the fever and rashes on the body.  However, in the night at about 9.30 p.m. on 14.04.2003, the complainant contacted the OP/doctor.  The OP/doctor telephonically informed Shipra Medical Store to give two tablets, without seeing the condition of the patient.  Thereafter, at about 3.30 a.m., the patient’s condition further deteriorated and he was taken to SMS Hospital, Jaipur where he was declared ‘dead’.  The post mortem findings also suggest that there was excessive Quinine toxicity.  On perusal of prescription, it is pertinent to note that the OP had given following drugs:-

HELD: The above drugs are used for treatment of fever, for loose motion, to avoid dehydration and for the allergic reaction.  In our view, none of the above drugs contains Quinine i.e. Chloroquine, which was found in the chemical analysis during Post mortem samples. It leads to the presumption that drugs containing Quinine were given by the doctor, who treated the patient before he went to the OP. The State Commission has categorically observed that the deceased had not died because of wrong treatment given by the OP but he was held liable due to the deficiency in service while treating the patient.  Therefore, we do not find any substantial reason for the enhancement of compensation to the complainant in the instant revision petition. The revision petition is devoid of any merit; hence, dismissed. The parties shall bear their own costs.

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Anoop K. Kaushal

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