On Wednesday, Fortis hospital in Shalimar Bagh, Delhi sacked two orthopedic surgeons, two nurses and an OT technician for operating on a patient’s healthy left ankle instead of the injured one during a surgical procedure.
Among one of the most well-known hospitals in India, Fortis dismissed the five of them, after this tragic case of medical negligence.
The 24 year old Ravi Rai slipped down the stairs on Sunday, and this unfortunate accident left his right leg fractured. His family members took him to the hospital, where they were told that he had fractured his right heel bone and his condition was serious. The doctors put multiple screws inside the left foot. Ravi’s family said they even tried to brush it off initially as a mistake.
Ravi’s father, Ram Karan Rai said, “The doctors said surgery was needed to fix the bones. We agreed but wanted some time to arrange the insurance papers. So a temporary cast was put. It’s incomprehensible how they missed the marks left by the cast and operated on the wrong foot. It is a case of medical negligence and the doctors must be punished suitably for this.”
The mistake was only discovered when Ravi woke up post-operation the next day and screamed bloody murder that they had operated the wrong leg.
The hospital released a statement on Wednesday in light of this grave negligence on the part of its employees.
“Following yesterday’s incident, we immediately set up an expert committee to inquire into the matter. Their preliminary view suggests that in the rarest of aberrations, the operating team may have disregarded and sidestepped due processes. We take our obligation to our patients very seriously. As this is a zero tolerance area for us, the services of erring doctors and OR personnel (five) have been dispensed forthwith.”
“Patient safety is of paramount importance to us. We are deeply concerned and are looking into the matter and will take appropriate action as deemed necessary.”
One of the doctors quoted as exclaiming at just how unimaginable such an error is. Markings on the surgical site among other rules should have prevented such a heinous oversight. Moreover, screws need to be fixed under X-ray, which begs the question, how did they operate on a heel with no visible damage?
Ravi has been shifted to Max Hospital in the same area where doctors have been cogitating over the next course of action.
Dr. Palash Gupta, associated director of joint replacement and orthopedics at Max Shalimar Bagh said that removing the screws from the undamaged heel first is a priority at the moment.
“If the angle of the weight-bearing region of the injured heel is found to be extensively damaged, we might have to do surgery to stabilize it but that’s not been decided yet,” he said.
The Delhi police are registering a case under sections 34 (common intention), 338 (causing grievous hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the staffs.