Hospital in dock for surgery on wrong leg

A nine-month old girl suffering from a congenital disease in her left foot was allegedly operated on the right foot at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital.

By ABHIJEET CHATTERJEE in Burdwan
  • Published 17.08.18
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The girl after the surgery. Picture by Anirban Hazra

Burdwan: A nine-month old girl suffering from a congenital disease in her left foot was allegedly operated on the right foot at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital.

Howrah resident Nabina Khatun was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday for surgery to correct clubfoot - a deformed foot so twisted that the sole cannot be placed flat on the ground.

But her family members alleged that when she was brought from the operation theatre, they noticed that the surgery had been carried out on the right foot instead of the left. The right leg had been plastered.

"The left foot of my niece was defective since birth and she was under treatment at the clubfoot unit of the hospital. The doctors advised us a surgery to correct the defect. When we pointed out, she was again taken to the OT and the surgeon operated on her left foot. This is a gross negligence," said Nurtaz Ali Khan, the child's maternal uncle.

The girl is now lying in her hospital bed with both her legs plastered.

Police sources said the patient's relatives had demonstrated in front of the office of the medical superintendent of the hospital on Tuesday evening and demanded punishment for the doctor. Later, the police arrived at the spot and dispersed them.

Nabina's father Sirajul Khan lodged a complaint with the medical superintendent demanding a probe.

The hospital authorities denied the charge and said that the girl was suffering from clubfoot, with both her legs defective and needing surgery.

"We came to know after speaking to the doctors concerned that the girl was suffering from clubfoot and both her legs were affected and needed surgery. Usually in these cases both limbs are defective. She underwent tenotomy, which is a minor surgery that takes only one or two minutes, on both her legs. There might be some miscommunication between the doctors and the patient's family members," said Amitabha Saha, deputy superintendent of the hospital. He said that he has counselled the aggrieved family members of the girl on this matter.

However, Saha said that since a complaint had been lodged, the matter would be inquired into and proper action would be taken if anyone was found guilty.