Medical Negligence – Minor treated for “Measles” instead of “Stevens-Johnson Syndrome” due to wrong diagnosis: What NCDRC Decided

Medical Negligence) Minor treated for “Measles” instead of “Stevens-Johnson Syndrome” due to wrong diagnosis: What NCDRC Decided

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission found that the doctor failed to correctly diagnose a serious disease of the minor which led to a lack of skill and reasonable standard of care.


The Complainant, Km. Sukhdeep Kaur, a minor filed a Consumer Complaint before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Sangrurthrough her father, Sh. Piara Singh, alleging medical negligence against the Petitioners for wrong diagnosis and wrong treatment which led to rashes on her body and became beyond control. It was further alleged that the Opposite Party being a BAMS (Ayurveda Doctor) was not competent to prescribe allopathic medicines, which amounts to medical negligence.

Decision of  District Forum

The District Forum passed the Order directing the Petitioner to pay an amount of Rs. 1 lakh along with 9% interest  from the date of the order to the Complainant / Respondent herein. The petitioners preferred an Appeal (bearing F.A. No. 591 of 2010 against the order of the District Forum) and the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab (hereinafter referred to as the ‘State Commission’) held that the Petitioner is entitled to prescribe and treat the patient with Allopathic Medicines, but held the Petitioner liable for medical negligence for the wrong diagnosis and treatment. The State Commission dismissed the Appeal with cost of Rs. 10,000/-.

NCDRC’S Decision 

The coram of A.K.Agarwal (President) and Dr. S.M.Kantikar (Member) noted that on 03.03.2009 at about 5.50 pm, the complainant Miss Sukhdeep Kaur, a young girl about 12yrs approached Dr. B.S. Singla at his Chandigarh Nursing Home for the complaints of fever, Cough, itching for the last 4/5 days and with history of rashes for last one day and remained hospitalized till next date. After about 13 hours of hospitalization, there was no relief from itching to the Complainant; therefore, for further management, she was referred to Dr. R. S. Rai, a specialist MD (Medicine) at Rai Hospital, Sangrur. He further referred her to the Rajindra Hospital at Patiala (a Govt. hospital) wherein, it was diagnosed as Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJ Syndrome). She was hospitalised there from 04.03.2009 and discharged on 22.03.2009 after full recovery.

NCDRC has noted that the Opposite Party failed on four counts.

Firstly failure to diagnose correctly the condition as SJ syndrome, but treated the patient for Measles. 

Secondly, the dose of steroid 4 mg Dexa was inadequate for this patient; the dosage should be calculated as per kg of body weight. 

Thirdly, for treatment of SJ Syndrome the appropriate drugs of choice would be Cyclosporine with Methyl-prednisolone and the dosage to be per kg body weight of the patient. 

Fourthly, there was delay and wrong referral of the patient to the physician instead of the skin specialist.

“Adverting to the quantum of compensation we note that, what cannot be lost sight is that, the quantum of compensation awarded by both the fora was Rs. 1 lakh with interest @ 9% p.a., which is certainly on the lesser side. The medical negligence in the instant case occurred in March, 2009 and now we are in 2022. The patient at her young age of 12 years suffered very serious and potentially fatal SJ syndrome. It was the patient’s sheer good luck that she survived in spite of such grossly inappropriate / inadequate treatment at every stage. Therefore, the patient/Complainant deserves enhanced just and reasonable compensation,” NCDRC ordered.

Case: Chandigarh Nursing Home v. Dr S.BB. Singla, 

Citation: Revision Petition No. 4677 of 2013, decided on 3-1-2022

Click Here To Read Judgement / Order

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