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Indian surgeon operates on leg of patient with head injury

GDN Online Desk

New Delhi: In a case of medical negligence, a surgeon at the Delhi government-run Sushruta Trauma Centre operated upon the leg of a patient admitted with a head injury.

The patient, Vijendra Tyagi, was admitted to the trauma centre with minor injuries on his head and face sustained in an accident. The surgeon, however, confused Tyagi with another patient, Virendra, admitted in the same ward with a fractured leg.

"The surgeon drilled a small hole into my father’s right leg to put a pin. It was done under anaesthesia so he didn’t even realise the mistake or raise an alarm," alleged Ankit, Vijendra’s son, who spotted the error and brought it to the hospital’s notice.

The surgery took place around 9.30am on April 19 and within hours another corrective procedure was performed to remove the pin, Ankit added.

The medical superintendent of the trauma centre said a committee constituted to look into the matter found merit in the allegations and a disciplinary action was initiated against the doctor, a senior resident. "The doctor has been barred from conducting surgeries without supervision with immediate effect," said the superintendent.

Inserting a pin into a fractured leg is a minor procedure that is conducted under local anaesthesia. "A small hole is drilled into the leg and a pin is placed in the fractured bone. After that, weights are attached to it so the bone can be pulled into the correct position," said a senior doctor.

"My father still has headache and pain in the chest where there is injury. But, due to the needless procedure, he is now unable to walk,” added Ankit. The family has, however, decided not to pursue or seek legal recourse against the doctor.

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