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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

DMC bars doctor from practising for 30 days for ‘negligence’ in woman’s death

cities Updated: Nov 12, 2019 21:33 IST

New Delhi

The Delhi Medical Council (DMC) has barred a surgeon working at a private hospital in the city, found to be negligent in the treatment of a 46-year-old woman leading to her death, from practising medicine for 30 days.

The disciplinary committee of the DMC, a statutory body that governs the practice of modern medicine in the state, ordered the removal of the name of the doctor from the state medical register for 30 days. The doctor denied any lapse.

The patient, Shobha Baboo, went to Max Hospital Saket with a severe pain in her abdomen in 2016. After assessment, the doctor told her she needed a surgery for hernia repair. Hernia is a condition where an organ or tissue pushes through an abnormal opening, the DMC order said.

To prevent the abdominal tissue from herniating again, the doctor put in place a mesh. She was discharged three days after her surgery on December 7, 2016, it said.

“But she started getting severe pain in her abdomen just two days later. I took her back to the hospital emergency. The doctors told me she would need another surgery. After the surgery, she was taken to the ICU and even had to be put on the ventilator. Hernia is supposed to be a simple surgery, I don’t know what happened,” said Ram Baboo, her husband, who retired as senior secondary teacher from a Delhi government school.

She had developed an inflammation of the membrane lining the abdominal wall as a result of perforation and there was free fluid and faecal matter in the abdominal cavity. During the second surgery, the abdominal cavity was cleaned out and a drain was placed, the council said.

“She was treated in three hospitals for almost five months due to the complications. I had to sell off our house. My son lost his job because he was always in the hospital. But she did not get better, she passed away,” Baboo said.

The DMC said it found Dr Harish Kapila to be negligent in the treatment of the patient as no efforts were made to check whether she had active abdominal tuberculosis (TB). A mesh should not be used in patients with active TB, it said.

The woman had been diagnosed with abdominal TB in 2009 and had been operated it, leading to the hernia, the DMC said.

“The patient had positive history of TB. There was no clear evidence of the patient having received a full course of anti-TB treatment. No attempt was made by the operating surgeon to find out if the patient was suffering from active tuberculosis or the after effects of the same,” the DMC order said.

The doctor denied any lapse. “This is only an allegation and there was no wrongdoing on my part. There was no lapse. She had been diagnosed with TB in 2009 and had received her treatment,” Harish Kapila said.

“DMC by its order has made no observations against Max Hospital. However it held / found that, the operative surgeon, Dr. Harish Kapila [a visiting consultant surgeon with Max Hospital then and who is not associated with Max Hospital currently], did not exercise application of standard surgical knowledge in treating the patient,” Max hospital said in a statement.