Patient In Coma For 2 Years Dies, Medical Negligence Alleged
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14 October 2010
A case of medical negligence against Yashoda Hospital was registered at Chaderghat police station on Tuesday, after a complaint was filed by Naga Ratnamma, 73, a resident of Sainikpuri, who alleged that the hospital was responsible for her 53–year–old son’s unnatural death.
According to Ratnamma, her son, D Sadashiv Reddy, a police constable, had walked into the hospital’s operation theatre for what the hospital authorities referred as a ‘minor’ surgery for removal of gall bladder stone on May 14, 2008. After anaesthesia, he had slipped into a coma and was shifted to the acute medical care of the hospital. Reddy lost consciousness thereafter, and in October 2008, the hospital asked the family to take him away, as per the police complaint.
At that time itself, the family approached the State Human Rights Commission as well as the court and got a stay on Reddy’s discharge. With no improvement in his condition for two–and–a–half years, Reddy who was on a high protein liquid diet, was suddenly declared dead by the hospital on October 12 this year, she alleged.
Ratnamma has noted in her complaint that about a month ago, the hospital staff completely stopped his diet and gave her an option of mercy killing. But she refused, she said. "Finally, on Tuesday, they suddenly said that he had suffered a cardiac arrest and declared him dead at 1 pm," said Ratnamma in the police complaint.
The family members alleged that though they were present at the hospital, they were not intimated and the body was shifted to Osmania hospital mortuary. Reddy is survived by his wife and two children.
Chaderghat inspector D Anand Kumar said that a case of suspicious death was registered based on the complaint of Naga Ratnamma. "After the post mortem report comes, we will submit the same to a panel of doctors. If any mischief comes to light, we will take action," said Anand Kumar.
The hospital authorities when contacted, said otherwise. "The patient was admitted (in 2008) with breathlessness and was diagnosed with gall bladder stone and jaundice. We had to do ERCP but after anaesthesia, he developed cardiac arrest and we could not do the procedure. Thereafter he did not recover. In such a condition, risk is involved," said T Suresh Kumar, general manager, coordination, Yashoda Hospital.
He added that a committee set up by the government after Ratnamma had moved the court had given the hospital a clean chit. The hospital authorities said that bills worth Rs 5–5.5 lakh were collected from the patient, through the Arogyabhadrata scheme, of which Reddy was a beneficiary.