Doctors ‘fix’ man’s wrong leg

June 15th, 2009 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode (Kerala), June 15 (IANS) Doctors at a state-run hospital here ‘fixed’ the wrong leg of a 30-year-old labourer — but made amends the next day.
The incident occurred Saturday at the state-run medical college hospital here, where Rafeeq was being treated for the past three years after he fell from a tree breaking his left leg, a family member of the patient said Monday.

Rafeeq’s brother-in-law Shameer told IANS that last Saturday Rafeeq was taken to the operation theatre in the morning and by 3 p.m he was brought out.

“Later we saw him writhing in pain and he said the pain was still there and soon we discovered that the doctors had operated on the right leg and not the left leg. When we brought this to the attention of those in-charge initially we got a rude reply. But later, he was taken to the operation theatre and they operated on the left leg yesterday (Sunday),” Shameer said.

When the local media took up the issue, the authorities ordered an enquiry.

The hospital superintendent K. Rajendran said that an enquiry had been conducted and it was found that the patient’s right leg instead of the left leg was put in traction.

“In common parlance it may be termed as an operation, but in medical terms it is a preliminary procedure. This was done by a junior resident and inquiries are going on before a final decision would be made to find out if there was any lapse,” Rajendran said.

Shameer told IANS: “When the mistake was brought to the attention of the doctors they reacted by saying that when a carpenter makes 10 cots, maybe one will have some problems. Is this the way they should have reacted? Now after it has become news, they have said they will do anything to settle the issue. We are sad with what has happened.”

According to Rafeeq’s relatives, in the past three years he has had his leg operated upon five times.

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