Trishna Roy. Picture by Gopal Senapati
The death of an 11-year-old girl, admitted to a Howrah nursing home to remove a metal plate that had been implanted into her fractured elbow a year ago, sparked a mob assault on the surgeon who was to operate on her.
The girl’s father lodged a police complaint against doctor Subhasish Sadhukhan, alleging negligence. An associate of the orthopaedic surgeon said the child had died of anaphylactic shock, which is caused by chemical or drug reaction and leads to a cardiac arrest.
Trishna Roy, the girl, was admitted to a nursing home at Dasnagar in Howrah on Wednesday morning.
At 8.30am, an hour after the girl, a resident of Baksara in Santragachhi, Howrah, was taken to the operating theatre, Sadhukhan, who was to remove the metal plate from her left elbow, told her family members that her condition was critical and she needed to be taken to a medical facility with an intensive care unit.
“My daughter was fine when we brought her to the nursing home. But when she was being wheeled into the operating theatre, she complained of uneasiness and nausea,” said Trishna’s father Debdas, who works for a pharmaceutical retail chain.
“She died after the doctor gave her a wrong dose of local anaesthesia,” he alleged.
According to him, Sadhukhan took Trishna to People’s Nursing Home in Shibpur, accompanying her in an ambulance.
The doctor took the girl to the ICU of the Shibpur facility. The family members were asked to wait outside.
Roy said Sadhukhan asked them to deposit Rs 10,000 at People’s Nursing Home.
“After half an hour, an employee at the nursing home told me that my daughter was dead. Then I entered the ICU and asked the doctor whether that was true…,” said Roy.
Officials at People’s Nursing Home claimed Trishna was dead before she was brought to the nursing home.
“Our doctors examined her and found that she had died,” said Suparna Mukhopadhyay, a senior manager of the Shibpur nursing home.
When asked why she was taken to the ICU after she had died, Mukhopadhyay said the doctors were making a last-ditch attempt to save her life.
Shortly after, a mob pulled Sadhukhan out of the nursing home and assaulted him. His car was also damaged. The doctor was admitted to the nursing home. No one has been arrested.
Sadhukhan was not available for comment. An associate of the doctor denied the charge of medical negligence.
“The patient’s pulse rate dropped abruptly after local anaesthesia was administered to her. She died because of anaphylactic shock,” said the associate.
“Anaphylaxis is a severe disorder that can be life-threatening if treatment is not started immediately,” said a doctor.
The body was sent for post-mortem.