Delhi Surgeon operates on leg of patient with head injury

In a case of gross negligence, a surgeon at the Sushruta Trauma Centre — a dedicated facility for trauma services run by the Delhi government — operated upon the leg of a patient admitted with a head injury.

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NEW DELHI: In a case of gross negligence, a surgeon at the Sushruta Trauma Centre — a dedicated facility for trauma services run by the Delhi government — operated upon the leg of a patient admitted with a head injury.

The patient, Vijendra Tyagi, was admitted to the trauma centre with minor injuries on his head and face that he sustained in an accident. The surgeon, however, confused Tyagi with another patient, Virendra, admitted in the same ward with a fractured leg.

“The surgeon drilled a small hole into my father’s right leg to put a pin. It was done under anaesthesia so he didn’t even realise the mistake or raise an alarm,” alleged Ankit Tyagi, Vijendra’s son, who spotted the error and brought it to the hospital’s notice.

The surgery took place around 9.30am on April 19 and within hours another corrective procedure was performed to remove the pin, Ankit added.

Speaking to TOI, the medical superintendent of the trauma centre said a committee constituted to look into the matter found merit in the allegations and a disciplinary action was initiated against the doctor, a senior resident. “The doctor has been barred from conducting surgeries without supervision with immediate effect,” said Dr Bahl.

Insertion of pin into fractured leg is a minor procedure that is conducted under local anaesthesia. “A small hole is drilled into the leg and a pin is placed in the fractured bone. After that, weights are attached to it so the bone can be pulled into the correct position,” said a senior doctor.

“My father still has headache and pain in the chest where there is injury. But, due to the needless procedure, he is now unable to walk,” added Ankit. The family has, however, decided not to pursue or seek legal recourse against the doctor.

Two years ago, a similar incident took place at Fortis Shalimar Bagh where surgeons operated on the wrong leg of a patient. The incident involved a 24-year-old youth who had fractured his right foot.

Recently, a similar case of medical negligence was reported from AIIMS where one of the surgeons conducted an arteriovenous fistula, a standard vascular procedure used to access blood for haemodialysis treatment in patients with chronic kidney disease, when the patient didn’t have kidney disease.

Rekha Devi (30) had come to AIIMS with pain in her abdomen that couldn’t be treated effectively in her home state. After that incident, the institute decided to set up a patient safety cell. “Before any procedure, doctors and nurses have to run check-lists multiple times. Such negligence is rare but even that shouldn’t happen because it imperils someone’s life,” said a doctor.

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