15 September 2010
By Viju B
Sending the wrong blood test report to a patient has cost a diagnostic laboratory dear.
The state consumer disputes redressal commission has directed Thyrocare Technologies to pay Worli resident Suresh Warke Rs 5,000 for providing him with the wrong report that he had tested positive for Hepatitis B. In its order, the commission said it was proved beyond doubt that there was a deficiency in service on the part of the lab and that had caused great mental agony to the applicant.
A person can contract Hepatitis B through blood transfusion, sex with multiple partners and drug abuse. Warke said after the report came in, he went through severe mental trauma and even his wife started doubting his character. "For three days, I went through hell,’’ he said.
After that Warke approached the Worli office again and they confirmed the report. He even called up the lab and asked them to check the samples. "But they rudely told me that there was nothing wrong with the report,’’ he said.
Three days later, Warke got a second test done at the same lab, but this time, the report showed it to be negative. "The firm did not even send me an apology for their mistake,’’ he said.
Warke filed a case at the district consumer disputes redressal forum, which directed the diagnosis company to pay Rs 1 lakh to the applicant for causing him mental and physical agony. The forum also asked the lab to reimburse the testing charge of Rs 1,400 with 9% interest, besides an additional Rs 10,000 as costs to the complainant.
Thyrocare paid the amount but also appealed against the order at the consumer redressal commission last year. The counsel said though the blood was tested at Thyrocare, the company did not have any "relation with the blood collection centre’’. Thyrocare’s counsel added that it also depended on how the blood was taken and preserved and the company could not be blamed. The counsel said there was a note in the report saying HBs Ag Alisa was a screening test and the result should be confirmed.
The state commission, however, said the lab should have taken proper precaution. "The argument that they do not have any relation with the collection centres cannot be relied upon, as the lab has been accepting blood samples from there,’’ the commission said, ordering the lab to pay an additional Rs 5,000 to Warke.