Surgery in private hospital heals month-long pain in PMCH

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  • Published 3.01.13

Patna, Jan. 2: After bearing with unbearable pain in hip for 39 days at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), an octogenarian woman went under the knife successfully in a private clinic a day after she was released from the state-run health hub.

The 82-year-old woman, Hira Devi, was admitted to the PMCH on November 14. The doctors of the hospital refused to perform surgery on her thrice on two different grounds, exposing the sorry state of affairs in the state-run health hub.

First, on December 10. Her surgery was postponed by a week because the surgery table of operating theatre (OT) number 4 was broken.

A week on, she was refused surgery again. This time, the doctors cited Vitamin K deficiency. The same reason was given on December 22, the third scheduled date of her surgery.

Bleeding and clotting time, vital during any surgery, depends on Vitamin K. (See graphic)

Confused and moved by the suffering of her grandmother, Nidhi Kumari decided to shift her to a private hospital on December 22 evening. A day on, she was operated upon successfully.

Relieved of pain, Hira Devi is better now.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Amulya Singh, who operated upon her at the private hospital, said: “Hira Devi’s bleeding time was 1.30 minutes and her clotting time was 4.55 minutes on December 22. They were well within the range. So we performed surgery on her the next day (December 23).”

Nidhi is happy to see her grandmother smiling. But she is yet to forget the excruciating experience she had at the PMCH.

She said: “Can you imagine my grandmother’s surgery was cancelled thrice? How can one justify the postponement of an operation on the grounds of broken surgery table in a premier hospital like PMCH? The doctors could have easily performed the surgery in some other OT. The postponement of the surgery for the second time was even more agonising. This time, it was deferred after she was wheeled in to the OT. The doctors detected Vitamin K deficiency in my grandma in the operating theatre. This, after she underwent several tests.”

Nidhi’s father C.B. Choudhary is equally frustrated with the doctors of the PMCH. “When we admitted my mother to the hospital on November 14, she underwent some tests. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr R.S. Suman detected low haemoglobin count in my mother and decided to keep her under observation for 10 days. Finally, the doctor decided to operate upon her on December 10, but it was postponed because of broken surgery table. The operation was deferred again on December 17. Then I complained against Suman to the hospital authorities and my mother was kept under the supervision of another doctor. But he, too, refused to perform the surgery on my mother citing Vitamin K deficiency.”

Dr Suman could not be contacted despite repeated attempts but Dr Arjun Singh, the head of the orthopaedic department of the PMCH, said: “I don’t think that the operation was postponed for unnecessarily. We cannot perform a surgery unless we are very sure about the patient’s condition.”

A senior doctor of the PMCH , however, admitted that patients often suffered because of lack of co-ordination between different departments of the hospital. “The PMCH has around 20 OTs and 50 surgery tables. The doctors of the orthopaedic department could have easily performed the surgery on the woman on any one of them.”