Chennai: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay Rs 28.37 lakh as compensation to the family of a woman who died in 2012 due to medical negligence at a hospital in Kanyakumari district. Rukmani, 34, was administered nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, instead of oxygen while admitted at Government Nagercoil Medical College and Hospital at Asaripallam.
The judgment came on a petition filed in 2013 by Rukmini’s husband S Ganesan, who had sought Rs 50 lakh as damages for himself and the couple’s two children.
“The factual matrix clearly shows that the hospital authorities administered nitrous oxide to the deceased instead of oxygen. The doctors and paramedical staff of Government Nagercoil Medical College Hospital were involved in acts of medical negligence. Because of their negligence, the petitioner’s wife went into a vegetative state. Thus, the state is bound to pay compensation,” Justice said while delivering the verdict.
The state’s health secretary was ordered to pay the petitioner the amount within eight weeks, at an interest of 9% interest per annum. Rukmani, a tailor, was admitted to the hospital for a tubectomy on March 18, 2011. She suffered heavy blood loss the next day after being administered nitrous oxide. Despite subsequent treatment at two other hospitals, she died on May 4, 2012.