A private hospital in Kolkata has been accused of medical negligence by an accident victim’s family after the victim’s fingertip, which was severed in the accident, went missing from the hospital.
The victim, Nilotpal Chakraborty, a resident of Howrah and a chemical engineer, was admitted to The Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) on Wednesday, 10 July, after he met with a bike accident in Howrah’s Shibpur at around 2:30 pm. During the accident, Chakraborty’s left hand came under his bike, resulting in half an inch from the fingertip of his finger severed.
After the accident, his colleagues rushed to the spot and put the severed fingertip in a clean plastic bag before rushing him to a hospital close to the accident site. He was then referred to CMRI by the hospital.
Upon admission, the severed portion of his finger was handed over to the hospital.
“He was supposed to go into surgery the next day, i.e Thursday, at around 10 am. Before he was wheeled into the Operation Theatre, we were told that the severed fingertip is missing. They weren’t clear as to how it went missing. Someone told us that it was probably disposed off in the dustbin”, Chakraborty’s wife, Chayanika, told The Quint.
After almost two hours of searching, the hospital administration confessed to the family that the fingertip was indeed missing.
Chayanika then filed a complaint with the police alleging medical negligence.
“For the safety of the patient, we were forced to go ahead with the surgery without the missing fingertip, and my husband was rendered handicapped for life”, Chayanika wrote in the complaint.
When The Quint contacted CMRI for a response, we were told by an official that the doctors at the hospital had opined that the severed fingertip could not have been grafted back into the finger anyway as it was not a ‘clean cut’ injury.
A report by The Times Of India, quotes Dr, Anupam Golash, under whom Chakraborty was admitted, saying that “the chance of stitching it (the fingertip) back was just about 10 percent, but we could take that chance.”
When asked for a response on the allegations of the fingertip being misplaced, the hospital made the following statement:
“A male patient was admitted to CMRI with a hand injury, where the tip of the left ring finger was wounded. The patient has been provided with necessary and appropriate clinical care. Currently, his condition is stable, however, the organisation is looking into the matter.”
Chayanika Chakraborty’s complaint is yet to be converted into an FIR. The police have started a preliminary probe and asked the hospital to share CCTV footage. If evidence is found against the hospital, then a case can be booked against them under the Clinical Establishment Act.
(With inputs from The Times Of India)