Odisha medical negligence probe- Surgeon accused of exposing twelve patients to HIV risk
Assistant dental surgeon Prashant Swain is accused of operating on an HIV patient on the morning of October 28 followed by minor surgeries on 12 other patients at the same operation theatre without taking precautions for sterilisation.Updated: Oct 30, 2019, 13:34 IST
A probe has been ordered in allegations that a dental surgeon at the government medical-college-cum hospital in Odisha’s Sambalpur exposed 12 patients to the risk of HIV infection by not following the necessary sterilisation protocols while operating on an HIV patient. The accused doctor has denied any negligence and alleged a conspiracy to remove him.
The head of the dental surgery department of the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) in Sambalpur said an assistant dental surgeon operated on 12 patients immediately after he had operated on an HIV patient on October 28 without taking the necessary precautions.
“The doctor, who did the surgery on the HIV patient, did not follow the necessary protocol. I have informed the dean and the hospital superintendent for necessary action,” said Dr Anup Satpathy.
A source in the hospital said assistant dental surgeon Prashant Swain conducted intermaxillary fixation on an HIV patient admitted for injuries received in a road accident on the morning of October 28. The dental surgeon afterwards conducted minor surgeries on 12 other patients at the same operation theatre, added the source.
The HoD of the dental surgery department and the medical superintendent were informed after a routine check allegedly revealed the lapses.
“It’s inexplicable as to how the surgeon could not see the man was HIV positive, when his ELISA blood test report showed him to be an HIV positive person. The other patients who were subsequently treated run the risk of getting HIV,” said Dr Satpathy, HoD of the dental surgery department.
Dr Prashant Swain denied the allegations and said the document (ward ticket) accompanying the patient did not say he was HIV positive. “Normally if a person is HIV positive, it is written in red ink on the ward ticket,” he said and added that the operation was over by the time he received the patient’s blood test report.
“After I got to know about his infection, I took post-exposure drugs. But the allegation that the operating instruments were not sterilised after the HIV patient’s surgery is not true. Separate instruments were used for the surgeries of other patients. This is a conspiracy to frame me,” said Dr Swain.
Dean and Principal of VIMSAR, Brajamohan Mishra, said a probe will be conducted to find the truth and that the dental surgery department had been closed on Tuesday for disinfection.
As per government statistics, there are about 3200 HIV patients in Odisha.