The Supreme Court, in reversing the judgements of the lower and appeal courts, has ordered a doctor, the hospital she works for and the Social Security Office (SSO) to pay 1.5 million baht in damages to the family of a woman who died as a result of medical malpractice.
The Nonthaburi Provincial Court read the order by the Supreme Court on Thursday for the SSO, Pathumrak Co Ltd and Dr Juthamas Harnnarong to jointly pay the sum to the family of Wanida Thongwian, who died following treatment at patRangsit Hospital in Pathum Thani in 2017.
The family comprises Amporn Trakudnak, Wanida’s mother, Chatree Srichana, her husband, and Phakin Srichana, their son.
The Supreme Court’s order reversed the decisions of the lower and appeal courts acquitting the three defendants.
The family told the courts that Wanida had checked in at patRangsit Hospital on July 23, 2017, to receive treatment for leg pain using her social security membership.
Dr Juthamas diagnosed her as suffering from tendinitis, administered an injection of diclofenac and prescribed some medication.
Less than 30 minutes after returning home in the early evening, the woman experienced weakness in her legs, had difficulty breathing and then lost consciousness.
Her sister rushed her to Prachathipat Hospital, the nearest medical facility to their home. Wanida’s blood pressure then dropped and she went into a coma.
She was referred to patRangsit Hospital where she was put in the ICU and on life support.
Results of an X-ray released on July 26, 2020, revealed she had suffered a cerebral oedema. She died on Sept 12 of that year.
The court was told Dr Juthamas had committed negligence in treating the woman. She failed to ensure Wanida had spent enough time under observation at the hospital after the injection before letting her go home.
The doctor had given the diclofenac shot when she should have known the drug was not to be used for asthma sufferers such as Wanida, the court was told.
The Supreme Court ordered the SSO and Pathumrak Co Ltd, which runs patRangsit Hospital, to jointly pay compensation to the family.
The doctor admitted Wanida’s condition was not severe enough to warrant the injection.
Ms Amporn expressed the family’s thanks to the court for reversing the previous judgements.