Patient wakes up horrified after doctors operated on left leg instead of right

  • Ravi Rai, 24, had fractured his right foot when he slipped on a staircase
  • Doctors told Ravi that he needs a surgery to place multiple screws in order to correct the fracture
  • However, the doctors put multiple screws inside his left foot instead

NEW DELHI, India – A patient woke up shocked after his surgery to find out that the doctors operated on the wrong uninjured foot instead of correcting his fractured right leg.

Durgesh Nandan Jhal mentioned in his article for The Times of India published on June 22 that two orthopedic surgeons, two nurses and an OT technician were all dismissed from Fortis hospital in Shalimar Bagh on Wednesday after operating on the wrong foot of a 24-year-old man.

The patient, identified as Ravi Rai, had fractured his right foot when he slipped on a staircase. Upon checking with the doctors, he was told that he needs a surgery to place multiple screws in order to correct the fracture, which the man agreed.

However, the doctors put multiple screws inside the left foot instead. Ravi’s family even said that the doctors tried to brush the incident as a minor thing and nothing serious.

“The doctors said surgery was needed to fix the bones. We agreed but wanted some time to arrange the insurance papers. So a temporary cast was put. It’s incomprehensible how they missed the marks left by the cast and operated on the wrong foot,” said Ram Karan Rai, Ravi’s father.

“It is a case of medical negligence and the doctors must be punished suitably for this,” the father added.

Ram Karan narrated that immediately after Ravi woke up after surgery, he started screaming that the doctors operated on the wrong leg, and the father revealed that it was the same time the doctors realized their mistake.

“Following yesterday’s (Monday’s) incident, we immediately set up an expert committee to enquire into the matter. Their preliminary view suggests that in the rarest of aberrations, the operating team may have disregarded and sidestepped due processes,” the hospital said in a statement.

The hospital added that they are taking obligation on their patients very seriously, adding that the incident will be dealt with zero tolerance.

An article by Chirag Gothi for India Today said the hospital’s statement also confirmed that the services of doctors and three other OR personnel have been terminated and that action against some others is also being contemplated, pending inquiry.

The patient was shifted to Max hospital in the same area where doctors have been considering over the next course of action to do.

“If the angle of the weight-bearing region of the injured heel is found to be extensively damaged, we might have to do surgery to stabilize it but that’s not been decided yet,” said Dr. Palash Gupta, associate director of joint replacement and orthopedics at Max Shalimar Bagh.

Gupta said the screws would have to be removed from the undamaged heel first before they deal with the broken leg.

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