Sunday, March 19, 2017

Kolkata : FIR against another healthcare major

Kolkata: Yet another complaint of medical negligence leading to death has reached a police station in Kolkata, adding to the turbulence in the already choppy private healthcare sector.

The family of a 42-year-old cardiac patient, who died at Medica Superspecialty Hospital on Monday morning, filed the complaint at Purba Jadavur police station. The hospital denied negligence, but the patient’s family felt wrong treatment had led to one of his legs being amputated. The police said it would approach the health department to help them probe the case by forming a medical board.

Sunil Kumar Pandey, the patient, had been admitted to Medica on March 6 following a massive heart attack. He was unconscious and had to be revived at the emergency, said the hospital. Subsequently, he was put on ventilation since his vital parameters were not stable. His family was told that Pandey needed an angioplasty.

But, before the procedure could be done, a clot was detected on his left leg. “We were told that a procedure would have to be done to remove the clot since the leg had gone almost limp. But we had no idea that it was so serious that he might lose the limb. That was exactly what happened. The doctors told us that the leg had been infected and could not be saved,” said Rajneesh Lalwani, a friend.

Medica authorities denied the charge, though. They pointed out that due care had been taken to save the patient even though he was admitted in a ‘very serious condition’. An initial ECG, according to the hospital, revelaed a massive anterior wall myocardial infarction. “His cardiac condition was very serious and he had to be put on ventilation on the very first day. While he improved very slowly, another clot appeared on his leg. Even though such clots on the leg are rare, they do occur. Our medical board did an embolectomy to remove the clot. But despite that it didn’t normalize blood flow in the leg. Subsequently, it got infected and amputation was the only option. It was not the result of either negligence or wrong treatment,” said Alok Roy, chairman, Medica.

A statement issued by the hospital said the medical board decided to amputate the gangrenous part of the leg as a life-saving procedure. The patient’s relatives were informed of the magnitude of the problem and the risk involved in the procedure,” said the statement.

But Pandey’s family and friends disputed the claim. “Even as Sunil’s condition deteriorated, there was not a single senior doctor available in the critical care unit on Sunday. The whole night he was left in the hands of one RMO. When we are paying the hospital almost Rs 1 lakh per day, can we not expect a senior doctor to tend to him when he is sinking,” said Lalwani

Pandey, a resident of Baishnabghata, was into medical media publication. The family alleged that even though doctors said Pandey’s left leg had to be amputated immediately on Thursday, the operation was done almost six hours after they were informed. The patient died around 5am on Monday. The hospital is also alleged to have provided the medical records on the patient only after the FIR was filed.

Police have registered a case of negligence though it does not mention any accused. “We will approach Swasthya Bhawan to form a medical board,” said an officer.

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