Woman contracted hepatitis C after hysterectomy

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After a wait of 10 years, the South Mumbai Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum recently directed the doctors and the Bombay Hospital & Medical Research Centre to grant a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to a woman who contracted a life-threatening virus after undergoing a hysterectomy.

In July 2007, 53 year old Ms MD had a hysterectomy performed at the hospital and in September the same year, she developed Hepatitis ‘C’ (itching, fever and yellow eyes). She sought a compensation of Rs 19.71 lakh from the respondents.

The forum held that Ms. Diwakar suffered from Hepatitis C, and has to take regular drugs and medicines to control it, for which she has to bear the medical expenses. She is suffering from heavy financial loss as well as mental torture and her reputation in society is also badly affected. The doctors and the hospital were held guilty of deficiency in service and medical negligence. It said she needs to receive Rs 5 lakh as “token compensation for the grave irreversible and irreparable mental agony, life-long restrictions, financial losses, loss of reputation in society and risk to family members caused by gross medical negligence.”

The hospital and doctors were directed to pay Rs10,000 as litigation costs to the family while the hospital has to pay Rs56,000 towards reimbursement of bills.

Comments

  • The global prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, as reflected by anti-HCV antibody positivity, is around 2.8% i.e. at any given time 2.8% people will be positive for hepatitis C.
  • In hospital setting, the transmission of hepatitis C it can occur via unsafe syringe or with unsafe blood transfusion
  • Infection can also be acquired by unsafe sex. You can be positive at the time of hospitalisation and acquire it after discharge with unsafe sex.
  • Most cases of acute hepatitis C infection are anicteric and asymptomatic; only less than 25% cases have clinically apparent infection. Fulminant hepatitis C is rare.
  • The window period for HCV is 6 to 9 weeks from the moment the person became infected. Hepatitis C antibody test during the window period yields a negative result.
  • All cases of acute hepatitis C may not progress to chronic hepatitis (infection that persists for more than 6 months).
  • Treatment is required only after six months if person develops hepatitis C.
  • Hepatitis C is curable today.
  • There is no way to tell that the person acquired hepatitis during a particular admission unless you show at the time of admission the person was negative for both hepatitis C antibodies and HCV RNA test.
  • This was an interested case to have been fought on scientific basis.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA

Early pregnancy can lead to preterm birth and other complications: HCFI

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Awareness and education among young girls need of the hour

New Delhi, 19th May 2019: According to a recent study that analysed data from India, teen pregnancies contribute to under-nutrition in babies.[1] It indicates that children born to adolescent mothers (10-19 years) were 5 percentage points more likely to be stunted (shorter for their age) than those born to young adults (20-24 years). They are also likely to be 11 percentage points more stunted than children born to adult mothers.

The study said that lower education levels among adolescent mothers had the strongest impact on stunting levels, followed by socioeconomic status. Teen mothers were also likely to be underweight, exacerbating the stunting among their children. The need of the hour is to educate young girls and others in rural areas on outcomes of bearing children at an early age.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “A premature birth is one that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. A baby born prematurely has less time to develop in the womb and often has complicated medical problems. Many preterm babies who survive suffer from various disabilities like cerebral palsy, sensory deficits, learning disabilities and respiratory illnesses. The morbidity often extends to later life, causing physical, psychological, and economic stress to the individual and the family. Preterm babies are small in size, sharper looking and have a disproportionately large head, less rounded features than a full-term baby, fine hair covering much of the body and low body temperature.”

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “While preterm births cannot be attributed to one particular reason, the predisposing risk factors include age at pregnancy; previous preterm birth; multiple pregnancies; infections and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure; stress; genetic factors and nutritional disorders. Lifestyle is increasingly becoming an important factor for preterm births.”

Identification of risk factors and educating pregnant women about the signs and symptoms of preterm labor during antenatal care can prevent preterm births. Here are some measures women can take to avert the risk of preterm delivery.

  • Do not miss antenatal care This is the best way to avert any preterm labor and identify signs. The doctor should be able to advice on how to eat right, what is the ideal weight, and what can be harmful for the baby.
  • Understand your risks Some women are at more at risk of delivering early. This is truer for those who have had a prior preterm delivery; who smoke or drink; have pre-existing health problems, etc. Understanding these can help you cope better.
  • Watch your weight Find out how much weight gain is apt for your body type and the baby. Too much weight gain can also cause complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Talk to your doctor about the recommended weight and eat accordingly. Ask your doctor about a healthy exercise plan.
  • Eat right Consume a nutritious diet as it is vital to the development of the fetus. Whole-wheat carbs, healthy sources of protein and dairy, and an abundance of fruits and vegetables is key. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other non-prescribed drugs.