The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Hyderabad has directed the city-based Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, commonly known as KIMS Hospitals, to pay ₹20 lakh to the family of a patient, who died after a kidney transplant.
Katepally Rajeshwar, a resident of Beeramguda in Hyderabad, had been suffering from an advanced stage of kidney failure. He underwent a transplant on 4 August, 2021. His wife Katepally Srilatha donated a kidney.
Rajeshwar was discharged from the hospital on 17 August, 2021. The family paid around ₹12 lakh to the hospital for the surgery.
However, he again returned to the hospital 19 days later with a low-grade fever for two days, cough for three days, and pain over the right thorax.
‘No infection at the time of admission’
As per the tests conducted by the hospital, he had no infections. The doctors treated him for the next five days. One morning, the hospital told his family that he had died.
The hospital authorities, after completing the formalities, handed over the mortal remain with a death summary. The report said that the patient had died of pneumonia, bacterial, and fungal infections.
“He was suffering only from fever and none of the tests conducted indicated bacterial infection. He caught the infection after being admitted to the hospital. He was not infected at home,” Srilatha submitted before the consumer commission.
“The diagnosis reports did not show any such infection at the time of admission. It clearly shows that it was the negligence of the hospital that caused the infection,” she said.
Srilatha further said that hospitals should maintain cleanliness and high standards of hygiene, especially in their intensive care units where vulnerable patients are admitted.
“Naturally, my husband caught bacterial and fungal infections during his stay in the hospital,” she said.
Hospital denies charge
KIMS Hospital argued that the CT scan showed a large thick-walled cavity in Rajeshwar’s right lung. The patient had uncontrolled sugar levels, graft dysfunction, and leukocytosis.
‘The blood culture report showed multi-drug resistant bacteria and tested positive for aspergillus. Advice from infectious diseases specialists was followed. However, the patient was desaturated and became drowsy,” the hospital submitted before the commission.
“The patient was intubated and kept on mechanical ventilator support. He developed bradycardia and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation ) was started as per ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) protocol. Despite resuscitative measures, the patient could not be revived and was declared dead,” it said.
“Though the complainant was advised to maintain strict hygiene since he was vulnerable to infections due to immune-suppressant drugs he had been taking. He did not follow the advice, and while admitted for the second time, he had uncontrolled sugars and hypertension,” KIMS further said.
Hospital missed a procedure: Commission
The consumer commission accepted the arguments of both parties but noticed that the hospital missed a procedure.
“Fixing a pacemaker might have enhanced the lifespan of the patient, but the hospital did not follow the procedure of bradycardia but started CPR as per ACLS protocol,” the commission noted.
The panel then asked the hospital to pay a compensation of ₹20 lakh to Rajeshwar’s family.