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‘Dr Stent’ in the dock for cheating patients

Another doctor allegedly plays with the lives of several patients by inserting a stent in their absolutely normal hearts, reports Naziya Alvi.
By Naziya Alvi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2008 03:58 AM IST

Here is another doctor who allegedly played with the lives of several patients by inserting a stent in their absolutely normal hearts in exchange of foreign trips and lucrative gifts from stent suppliers.

A city court has ordered framing of cheating and forgery charges against Dr RK Khullar, a cardiologist with Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and a senior resident doctor, Ravi Vishnu Prasad, who at his instance prepared these false reports. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjeev Jain has fixed February 20 for framing of charges against the two accused.

The CBI, that probed the case, has accused Dr Khullar of giving exaggerated reports about blockage in the arteries of patients without even looking at their angiography films and then performing an angioplasty to insert a stent even when it was not required.

As per experts, “Stents are implanted in the arteries, to open a blockage. If inserted in normal arteries it can cause clotting leading to a heart attack”.

The agency in its investigation also examined a lab technician who worked with Khullar for over four years. The technician told the agency that during his association with the doctor, he never saw Khullar giving a normal angioplasty report to any patient that came to him.

Khullar’s case came under the scanner after one such patient, Brahm Singh filed a compliant against him with the Ministry of Health.

On 8 December 2004, Khullar had conducted Singh’s angiography and claimed to have found 75 per cent blockage in two of his arteries. Khullar then gave him an estimate of Rs 1,58,000 that would be needed for his angioplasty by way of inserting a stent.

In the meantime Singh went for a second opinion where the doctor did not find any blockage in his arteries. Singh then made a complaint to the Ministry of Health. Following this a committee was constituted by the medical superintendent to look into the matter, which further found that Khullar did not give the angiography film to the patients and issued expense certificate without seeing their angiography film. It also found that in most of the films, names of the patient pasted for the angioplasty did not coincide with the angioplasty done that day.

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