The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tension over polio surgery

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 4: Tension ran high at the Jajpur district hospital after an alleged case of wrong surgery involving a 10-year-old girl. The operation was part of a free polio corrective camp.

The incident, which took place yesterday, caused a furore among local residents who gheraoed the district hospital and demanded compensation for the girl whose right leg was “incorrectly” operated on instead of the right arm.

The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and a charitable organisation had jointly organised the free surgery camp. Doctors of the organisation examined several children on January 25 and fixed Saturday for surgery at the Jajpur district hospital.

Laxmipriya was admitted to the hospital on Friday and she had her surgery yesterday.

The girl’s father, Seshadev Ghadei, reportedly fainted after Laxmipriya was wheeled out of the operation theatre. He later alleged that the doctors had operated on her leg instead of the hand, where she had the problem. “Ask my neighbours or other patients at the hospital, everybody could see that she walked normally. But they (doctors) could not understand it even after my daughter pointed out that her right hand had the defect and not her right leg.”

The father’s cries caught the attention of those present at the hospital and a crowd gathered around him within minutes and demanded compensation for Laxmipriya. Ghadei is a resident of Manitira village in the district.

A doctor, however, claimed it was a case of cerebral palsy affecting both the girl’s arm and leg on the right side. “As she had a low haemoglobin count, we did the leg first. The surgery on the hand will be done later,” the surgeon said.

Speaking to The Telegraph, additional district medical officer Bhagirathi Pani said: “There is no danger to the child. It was a case of misinterpretation by the parent.”

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