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Hospital faces flak over diagnosis

UNDER FIRE: IGIMS

Patna: A male prostate cancer patient was wrongly diagnosed to be suffering from an abnormal uterus problem at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) recently, in what looks like a report switch.

Shashibhushan Mishra (77), an ayurvedic doctor from Samastipur district's Morwa village was handed over the wrong magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) report on December 10. He has now given a legal notice to the institute's radiology department and demanded Rs 1.2 lakh and immediate action against those responsible.

Mishra was initially taken to Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), which referred him to IGIMS after doctors suspected stones in his prostate. The patient said that owing to wrong diagnosis, he was administered a wrong injection, which, in turn, let to further deterioration of his condition. Sources, however, said Mishra had not made it clear in the notice whether the injection was administered to him at IGIMS.

An IGIMS doctor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mishra's claim that his condition deteriorated after being administered the wrong injection might be false and he might not have been administered any injection at all.

"This could be his propaganda. How can an ayurvedic doctor allow himself to be administered an injection for a uterus-related problem?" the doctor asked.

"How could the report go through so many hands undetected," asked Dr Sunil Kumar Singh, a member of the IGIMS's body of governors. "Even if the report said so, did the consultant co-relate it clinically before starting treatment? A wrong report tarnishes the image of the institute. Even if given under public-private partnership (PPP) mode, the ultimate responsibility lies with the institute administration."

Though The Telegraph couldn't contact Mishra, the hospital confirmed the news of wrong diagnosis.

IGIMS medical superintendent Dr S.K. Shahi said the MRI report had been handed over by a Calcutta-based agency providing radiological services at IGIMS on a PPP mode.

"Action has been taken against the agency for handing a wrong report. Director N.R. Biswas has given a legal notice to the private agency in which it has been told why cannot terminated its services on this ground. The notice also says that we would keep the private agency's machine and terminate its contract," said Shahi.

On the error, Shahi said: "The private agency handed over the report of a female patient to Mishra by mistake. His name figured next to her's on the computer. As for the injection, it was not administered at IGIMS. The patient was not administered any injection at IGIMS." Shahi said the hospital had sent a report on the matter to the state human rights commission.

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