In what was a simple surgery to remove broken bones from the knee — known in medical parlance as arthroscopy surgery — a patient ended up with third degree burn injuries on both her legs and is now undergoing costly plastic surgery and skin grafting procedure to repair the damage.
Satyendranath Dutta, a retired professor and husband of the patient, Swapna, has now lodged a complaint with the Dum Dum police station, charging Tulip Nursing Home and Dr Debasis Chatterjee, orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine expert who performed the arthroscopy surgery at the nursing home on January 16, with medical negligence. Dutta is even thinking of moving the consumer court and has sent a legal notice to Tulip and Dr Chatterjee.
“It’s a sheer case of medical negligence. There are severe burn injuries on my wife’s legs. Besides lodging a police complaint, I have also sent the doctor who performed the surgery on my wife and the nursing home legal notices,” Dutta told HT.
“Yes, I have received the legal notice. I won’t comment on the allegations against me and the nursing home,” Chatterjee said.
Swapna Dutta was admitted to Tulip on January 16 under Dr Chatterjee for arthroscopy surgery after she complained of what is known as knee lock. “She was shifted to a general cabin after the surgery. Next day, when I met her she told me that she was feeling a burning sensation on her legs. After inquiry I came to know that the nurses put an electric hot pad below her legs after my wife complained of cold. They forgot to switch it off and the patient did not feel the heat because her legs were anaesthecised,” Dutta said, adding, “I contacted Dr Chatterjee who told me that the patient had developed two blisters in the legs. He also told me that they were taking care of the patient and that the wounds would heal soon. She was discharged from the nursing home on January 21, but nothing about the burn injuries had been mentioned in the discharge certificate.”
At home, Swapna’s family was shocked to see the extent of the burns. “It was horrible. The flesh on her legs were burnt, exposing the bones,” said Swapna’s son-in-law, Prof Sanjay Gopal Sarkar, joint-registrar of Jadavpur University. “She is now being treated at a private hospital. She has already undergone plastic surgery and skin grafting. It is unfortunate that Dr Chatterjee tried to hide his negligence,” he added.