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Neglect victim loses crushed leg

The left leg of Madhumita Halder, who was kept waiting more than seven hours for treatment after being run over by a bus, was amputated on Tuesday as infection had started spreading from the limb.

“We failed to control the infection in her left leg, which had been crushed under rear wheels of a bus. The infection was fast spreading. So we formed a medical board to assess her situation and decided to amputate the left leg,” said orthopaedic surgeon Mukul Bhattacharya of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

The operation — conducted by Bhattacharya and four other surgeons — continued from 12.30pm to 4pm. The left leg was amputated from just above the knee. Doctors said the operation was successful and the infection was controlled.

“There is a certain amount of toxicity in her blood which can be controlled with medicines. She has mild fever and is being given antibiotics. We tried our best to save her leg and fought till the last moment but failed,” said Bhattacharya.

Madhumita’s husband Sunil praised the doctors at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital for their effort but said he could never forgive the ones at SSKM Hospital.

“I remember how I had to use my palm to drain blood from the trolley on which my wife was lying. Some doctors just looked on,” he said.

Madhumita was escorting daughter Reema home from her Madhyamik centre on February 26 when the accident occurred at Mahabirtala near New Alipore, a 15-minute walk from their BL Shah Road home.

Police took Madhumita to MR Bangur Hospital, where doctors bandaged her wound and advised that she be taken to SSKM, Calcutta Medical College or Calcutta National Medical College.

At SSKM, the woman lay unattended for over an hour before a doctor cut open the bandage, inspected the wound and bandaged it again, saying there was no vacant bed. Madhumita was then taken to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, where she was finally operated on.

A masseur by profession, Sunil hopes to get an artificial limb for his wife but says he has been left with only Rs 2,000 after the operation. “I have spent all my resources. I have not been able to work for the past two weeks and don’t know whether I can retain my clients,” he said.