The state’s regulatory commission on Tuesday asked AMRI Hospitals to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of a toddler who died at its Mukundapur hospital in 2018 after a nurse administered an injection.
The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission, which held its first hearing after close to four months, ordered the private healthcare group to pay the money to the family of Oyetri Dey.
The two-and-a-half-year-old had died on January 17, 2018.
A commission official said there were mainly two charges against the hospital —withholding evidence and allowing an unqualified nurse to administer the injection.
The family alleged that Oyetri was doing fine but she collapsed soon after the nurse had administered the injection.
“We had asked the hospital to produce the ampule so that it could be ascertained if the nurse had administered a wrong drug or the dosage was incorrect. But the hospital did not produce the ampule,” the commission official said. “Also, it was found that the nurse who had administered the injection did not have any nursing qualifications. She had appeared for the examinations.”
Oyetri’s father Jayanta Dey said: “Our objective is not to get Rs 10 lakh. I want the guilty to be punished. I do not want anyone else to face what we had faced. I lodged a criminal complaint with police and the West Bengal Medical Council and Indian Medical Association. Now, my objective is to pursue those complaints.”
The commission has held the hospital responsible on many counts, Dey said. “The order said the nurse was not qualified to be in that position. It also denounced the hospital’s attitude… asking us to vacate the bed immediately after my daughter’s death.”
“In response to the order of the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission regarding compensation in a case from January 2018, we are yet to receive any formal notification. However, we will abide by whatever ruling has been passed by the Hon’ble Commission,” an AMRI spokesperson said.
Oyetri had a video chat with her father from the hospital the night before she died. Around 5.30am the next day, the girl from Kamalgazi in Garia was given an intravenous injection while she was asleep, her mother Shampa had said.
The hospital had said the injection was Rantac, an antacid.
Oyetri started convulsing thereafter and her temperature shot up. She died soon after.
Her death triggered allegations of medical negligence and an argument between members of the hospital staff and relatives and friends of the girl’s parents.
Retired judge Ashim Kumar Banerjee, the chairperson of the commission, said this was the first hearing after March 4. “We heard 11 cases, of which complaints for 10 had been lodged during the lockdown. The hearing was done through video conference. It will continue to be so,” he said.
The commission on Tuesday asked two other private hospitals to submit affidavits on charges of negligence.
One of them had apparently refused to treat a cardiac patient. Another had apparently kept a patient waiting in the car for long. By the time doctors checked on him, he had died.