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Chennai hospital ordered to pay Rs 3 lakh for wrongly diagnosing TEN as measles

New Delhi: The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed Billroth Hospitals, Chennai to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation for wrongly diagnosing and treating a 15-year-old boy for measles, instead of toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), leading to his death.

Dr V R Janaki, a dermatologist who was treating the boy, told the NCDRC that early diagnosis of TEN, a life-threatening skin condition that is usually caused by a reaction to drugs, would have definitely helped to save the patient.

The NCDRC order came after the Commission dismissed an appeal by the hospital and upheld the Tamil Nadu state consumer commission’s decision dismissing the hospital’s appeal while asking it to pay Rs 10,000 as legal cost besides the compensation, reports

A district forum had in 2006 directed the hospital to pay the compensation to the boy’s mother R Vijaylakshmi. The hospital, which was held guilty of medical negligence by the forum, had moved the state consumer commission against the order but was denied relief.

“Bearing in mind the fact that the deceased was a young boy of 15 years of age, the amount of compensation awarded cannot be held to be excessive by any standards,” the NCDRC bench headed by its President Justice D K Jain said in its order dated March 16.

According to the complaint, R Vijaylakshmi, the boy was admitted to the hospital on July 11, 2000 and doctors gave him treatment for measles but two days later the doctors diagnosed the patient as suffering from TEN disease.

Read the full judgement

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