Death within weeks of cardiac surgery, family of ex-IAS cries medical negligence

The police urged the council to take necessary action against the hospital and doctors who handled the case.
For representational purposes
For representational purposesFile photo

NEW DELHI: Delhi Medical Council (DMC) has received a complaint alleging medical misconduct by Indraprastha Hospital which led to the death of a retired IAS officer who underwent a cardiac surgery at the facility. The complaint was registered by the Delhi Police based on a complaint it received from the family of the deceased at Sarita Vihar Police Station.

The police urged the council to take necessary action against the hospital and doctors who handled the case.

According to the complaint, Virendra Singh, underwent a cardiac surgery on May 8. Two weeks later, he passed away. The family accused the hospital of a host of discrepancies. No ECHO (echocardiogram) was done to assess the heart and there was no briefing from the doctors post surgery, the family alleged.

The family said, after the medical records of the patient were reviewed by several renowned medical practitioners, they concluded that critical protocols and procedures were not followed by the hospital and the treating surgeon which led to the demise of the patient.

Reacting to allegations, Apollo Hospital denied “all allegations of negligence and wrongdoings” leveled by the family.

“We will put the case before the executive committee for examination once all the medical records including discharge summary are received from the police,” DMC secretary Dr Girish Tyagi told this newspaper.

Narrating the ordeal in the police complaint, the daughter of the deaceased, Nishi Singh, said the patient was diagnosed with MR (Mitral Regurgitation) and Dr BN Das, Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Apollo, suggested an open heart surgery in multiple consultations, claiming it was a “small and routine operation” which he had conducted on many patients above 80 years of age.

According to her, the patient had no health issues except loss of weight during admission to the hospital. However, after the surgery, he was unable to speak and had absolutely no strength or control over the motor functions of his own body.

“My father was shifted to CTVS ICU for post-operative recovery. After about 5-6 days, Dr Das insisted we take our father home whereas, at that time, my father was unable to speak properly, was semi-conscious and had absolutely no strength.

Later, he was tranferred to the STEP DOWN-ICU despite no improvement, contrary to protocols as a patient of open heart surgery is required to be monitored in an ICU till he recovers,” Nishi alleged. The deceased’s family alleged that the hospital staff did not follow the necessary protocols to prevent infection in the ICU.

Discharged despite worsening health

On May 17, doctors informed the family that the patient was ready to be discharged even though his health parameters were worsening. Later in the day, the family was told that the patient’s health had worsened due to an infection whose source they were unable to identify, the complaint said. “On May 22 night, we were informed that my father’s health is critical, and he might not survive till morning. We requested for any senior doctor to be called, or let us have a word telephonically, which was denied as it was too late in the night. My father breathed his last the next day,” Nishi said.

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