A patient at Mumbai’s Sion Hospital died after a minor procedure to drain fluid from his lungs went wrong. The circumstances that led to the death of the patient, Waman Zare, 65, from Bhandup, were tragic but it were a series of bizarre events that triggered them.
According to The Times of India, the chain of events began when a first-year resident doctor fled the operation theatre in a fit of panic attack. A woman resident doctor was called in as a replacement to carry on the procedure.
It was revealed in an informal internal investigation that the replacement doctor had punctured the left lung instead of the affected right, sending the patient into a cardiac shock that led to his death in 15 minutes.
The doctor who fled the ward had been suffering anxiety attacks for some time now, but had not informed his department about his health condition. He is reportedly taking treatment and is on a leave.
The patient’s family blamed the hospital for negligence and not taking their consent before the surgery. The family claimed that the replacement doctor attempted the fluid draining procedure without studying the patient’s file properly.
Acting dean Dr N.D. Moulick admitted to the lapses. He called it a case of “human error” and not something attributable to stress or work pressure. But a resident doctor alleged that senior doctors are not around to teach juniors how to handle patients, which can be nearly 100 in a single ward, and their relatives.
In another incident that closely resembles the negligence of hospitals while treating patients, 62-year-old Shobha Ram, a labourer who had developed liver cirrhosis after a hepatitis B infection, died in a live surgery workshop at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
A laparoscopic liver resection procedure was being performed on him by Dr Goro Honda, from Japan’s Tokyo Metropolitan Cancer and Infectious Diseases Center.
Questions are now being raised on the ethical and procedural aspects of such workshops.