The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) fined a Thane-based surgeon with Rs. 2 lacs for prescribing medicines for stress urinary incontinence (SUI)––without heeding the patient’s condition.
The Apex Consumer Court observed that the patient was prescribed a systemic drug – Dolamide, an NSAID, despite the serum-creatinine signifying renal impairment. The NCDRC bench opined that a nephrologist’s opinion was warranted before any such prescription.
The patient had been operated on under Dr. Krishnakumar in 2006 for SUI. The NSAID was prescribed post-surgery. About six months later, the patient was detected with high blood pressure and was referred to a nephrologist who confirmed damage to both her kidneys due to NSAID use despite a serum-creatinine level of 2.67%. She was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
The patient had been on hemodialysis (due to end-stage renal disease - ESRD) since 2008 when she lodged a complaint in the Maharashtra State Consumer Court. The doctor denied negligence on the basis of the fact that short-term Dolamide (containing Nimesulide) use cannot cause chronic renal failure.
The NCDRC bench stated that medical records suggested that Dolamide use precipitated renal damage in this patient, although the drug may not be liable for the ESRD and the eventual renal transplantation requirement. Nevertheless, not consulting a nephrologist before prescribing a Nimesulide-based medication to a known renal impairment patient was considered negligent on the surgeon’s part.
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