When Deepak Shirke, an instrumentation engineer, admitted himself to AIMS hospital in Dombivli, it was for a surgery to remove a tumour in his stomach.
Little did he expect that he would lose four of his toes because of medical negligence.
Shirke, who works in Karjat, said: “I had unbearable pain in my stomach, which was diagnosed as tumour. The doctor recommended surgery for which I got admitted at the hospital and it was conducted on August 20. The tumour was removed successfully, but someone kept a warmer too close to my right foot and four of my toes were so badly burnt that they had to be amputated.”
Shirke and his wife Laxmi allege the doctors and the hospital staff did not even tell them about the incident and that they discovered the amputation only after spotting a bandage on his foot.
“When I regained consciousness, my foot was hurting very badly so my wife moved the bedsheet covering me. That’s when we saw that my foot had been bandaged,” he said. Shirke said the hospital staff was unwilling to reveal the truth initially.
“At first they told us it was a superficial burn and will heal in four to five days, but my wife insisted that they open the bandage and show her the wound. We were shocked when we saw it, and that’s when the doctor confessed that the burn was so serious that they had to amputate my four toes to save my right foot,” he said.
The hospital admits the incident indeed took place, but blames Dr. Vikram Vardhan, an anaesthetist it hired.
“Dr Vardhan brought the warmer from another room and kept it near the patient’s feet without informing doctors or nurses in the operation theatre,” said Dr. Milind Shirodkar, administrative head, AIMS hospital.
“I conducted the enquiry and summoned Dr Vardhan, but he didn’t turn up. When he didn’t answer to my email, we filed a police complaint against him at Manpada police station and investigations are on.”
Shirke’s wife Laxmi argues that it is the hospital’s responsibility to take proper care of its patients.
“After all, they charge lakhs of rupees for the surgery. We want justice; the culprit should be punished,” she said, blaming the hospital for her husband losing his job.
“Due to this incident, my husband lost his four toes and his job. He had only recently joined the company and had been on probationary period.”
Dr Shirodkar said the hospital would pay for Shirke’s medical treatment until he recovers completely.