New Delhi: Fortis hospital in Shalimar Bagh on Wednesday sacked two orthopaedic surgeons, two nurses and an OT technician for operating on the wrong foot of a 24-year-old youth.
Ravi Rai, the patient, had fractured his right foot when he slipped on a staircase. The doctors put multiple screws inside the left foot instead. Ravi’s family said they even tried to brush it off initially as a mistake.
“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,” said Ram Karan Rai, Ravi’s father.
He added that when Ravi came to his senses, he screamed about the wrong surgery and that’s how the doctors realized their error.
The hospital issued a statement: “Following yesterday’s (Monday’s) incident, we immediately set up an expert committee to enquire 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.”
The statement further added that action against some others was also being contemplated, pending enquiry.
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, associate director of joint replacement and orthopaedics at Max Shalimar Bagh told TOI that the screws would have to be removed from the undamaged heel first. “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.
TOI spoke to many orthopaedic surgeons who said such negligence was unimaginable and reflective of poor observation of protocol for surgery. “There are laid down rules for site marking in the ward and time out prior to surgery. The operating team reconfirms all details. Also, screws have to be fixed under X-ray. How could they operate on the heel that had no visible damage?” said a doctor.