Question: My baby became blind due to the negligence of the doctor. He did not treat my baby’s blindness. My baby was premature with 28 weeks gestation therefore, needed special treatment. He discharged my baby after keeping her for sixty days in the NICU. We came to know about her blindness after six months when another doctor was diagnosed. Thereafter, we consulted many renowned paediatricians and ophthalmologists. But the result was the same and my baby has lost her sight permanently. Can I take any legal action against the doctor? Please Help.
Asked from: Gujarat
This is indeed an act of negligence of the doctor in the treatment of your baby. The doctor is a qualified medical professional therefore, must do all the screening required in the birth of a premature baby. This blindness has occured due to negligence in treatment. The doctor had failed to detect or anticipate the imminent danger to the premature baby.
Negligence of doctor
The doctor cannot take the excuse that the blindness was an unforeseeable circumstance, consequently, he did not take necessary precautions. A premature baby is prone to high risk especially when the gestation period is less than thirty two weeks. Hence the doctor must conduct all screenings to avoid any foreseeable difficulties.
In the present case, the doctor did not conduct accepted practice to save the life and limbs of a premature baby. If he would have followed the standard procedure in the treatment of such a high risk infant the blindness could have been avoided.
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Remedy in negligence cases
The concerned doctor is a qualified medical practitioner hence, the law shall presume that he knows about the possible risks to the premature baby. Hence, the doctor cannot absolve his liability. His act comes under the purview of deficiency in service. The service rendered by the doctor was not at par.
Therefore, you should file a case in the consumer forum for the grant of compensation. In premature birth, the medical journals indicate that an infant with gestation age less than 32 weeks is required to be screened for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).
The doctor did not screen your baby during the treatment. Your baby had been admitted to his hospital for sixty days. However, the necessary treatment for protection from blindness is to be given within four weeks from birth. Hence, the doctor has committed grave negligence in discharge of his duty.
The consumer forum has the jurisdiction over the medical negligence cases. Your case is pertaining to the deficiency in service of a medical professional. However, the darkness in your baby’s life can never be compensated in terms of money but you should take legal action against the doctor because your baby became blind due to negligence of doctor. The consumer form will grant compensation in your case.