New Delhi: A woman who suffered immense pain
for over seven months after a pad was left inside her abdomen
during surgery has been awarded a compensation of Rs 15 lakhs
by the National Consumer Commission, saying surgeons were
Holding a nursing home owner and a surgeon jointly liable
for the negligence, the apex consumer body also directed them
to pay a cost of Rs 30,000 to the complainant for mental agony
she suffered on account of the lapses during the surgery.
"In the intervening period of more than seven months
during which the pad remained inside the abdomen of the
complainant, she must have suffered immense physical pain as
alleged by her and the mental agony," the Commission,
comprising Members K S Gupta and R K Batta, said.
It passed the order on a petition of complainant Vidya
Devi seeking Rs 42.5 lakhs from the surgeons for medical
negligence of leaving the pad inside her abdomen.
While the surgeon, a gynecologist, claimed not to have
committed any negligence, the owner of the nursing home
refused to accept his liability on the ground that he did not
play any role during the operation and had only let the
operation theatre for conducting the surgery.
"Had the opposite parties taken reasonable degree of care
and skill, the pad would not have been left inside the abdomen
of the complainant at the time of the surgery," the Commission
said while rejecting their contentions.
The Commission noted that the doctors were "grossly
negligent in leaving the pad inside the abdomen" of the
complainant, for which they cannot escape liability for duly
Devi underwent the operation in Sudha nursing home in
Orissa in 1998. When her abdominal pain increased, she was
taken to a hospital where a pad was detected in her abdomen
which was subsequently removed.