The family of an 11-year-old-boy who was disabled after errors made by maternity staff and doctors at a private hospital has been awarded 5 lakh as compensation by the district consumer disputes redressal forum. In addition, the hospital has to bear the legal and medical expenses of 58,000. Anuradha, a resident of Pattalam, was admitted at NR Medical Home Pvt Ltd on Barracks Road in Perambur and her son was initially treated by a nursing staff and later referred to a paediatrician. The Chennai north district consumer disputes redressal forum bench comprising its president K Jayabalan and member-II T Kalaiyarasi found a series of deficiencies in the hospital.The forum found that, even after the late referral, the boy did not receive adequate oxygen or vital drugs like vitamin K injection that could have prevented mental retardation. Following a complaint by Anuradha, the court said the claim of 5 lakh compensation is a “meagre amount” for the pain and sufferings the complainant underwent. Anuradha said she was admitted on January 9, 2005 for delivery and gave birth to the boy the next day. The hospital director Dr Nasreen Ahmed attended to her during delivery. At birth doctors saw thick meconium stained liquor a dark green liquid containing mucus, bile and epithelial cells normally passed by the newborn in the child’s mouth. The umbilical cord was also wound around the baby’s neck. While the doctor removed the umbilical cord, a staff nurse removed the liquid from the baby’s mouth using a bulb suction. The child was referred to a paediatrician after the doctor noticed respiratory distress. Counsel for complainant G Munedran argued that the staff nurse performed the suctioning because the paediatrician was absent at the time of delivery. Although the hospital counsel SL Sudarsanam quoted orders from the National Commission and the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the court concluded Dr Nasreen Ahmed had committed deficiency in service based on references from the medical literature which said aspirations should be done by the paediatrician. The hospital brochure also said paediatrician will be present at the time of delivery. The mental retardation certificate board has certified 65% permanent disability in the boy in 2012. The forum felt that improper administration of oxygen and not administering vitamin K injection to the child may have led to the disability. It also pointed out the deficiency on the part of paediatrician Dr K Satish.