Woman suffers paralytic attack after chemist at AIIMS-Patna gives wrong medicine
Failing to decipher handwriting on prescription, in-house chemist gives out psychiatric drug instead of anti-malarial medication to 23-year-old commerce student.Updated: Aug 04, 2017, 15:06 IST
A female patient has accused All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Patna (AIIMS-P) authorities of giving her improper medication, leading to severe health complications.
According to a complaint lodged by 23-year-old Juhi Rani at the institute early last month, a physician at the institute’s outdoor patient department (OPD) had prescribed a drug called Lumerax-80 to cure her malarial symptoms on June 28. However, as the writing on the prescription was illegible, the private drug store on the first floor of the institute provided her with Luramax-80 – a drug meant to address psychiatric concerns – leading to severe medical complications. Rani said she subsequently suffered a paralytic attack, and had to be admitted to a private hospital.
While the AIIMS-P administration issued a show-cause notice to the chemist on July 15, it allegedly didn’t note if the physician had erred. The chemist is yet to furnish his response.
The store’s contract with the AIIMS has since expired.
The Centre had amended the Indian Medical Council Regulations-2002 to ensure that prescriptions issued by doctors spell drugs with generic names in legible, upper case letters. In this case, the AIIMS-P physician had clearly not followed the directive.
All the documentary evidence in the case – including copies of physicians’ prescriptions, the patient’s complaint and cash memo from the private drug store – is in HT’s possession. Incidentally, the mix-up was pointed out by a consultant at AIIMS-P when Rani, who is pursuing her post-graduate degree in commerce, returned to its OPD for a follow-up.
AIIMS-P superintendent Dr Umesh Bhadani admitted to the mistake. “We have issued a show-cause notice to the chemist, and action will be taken soon,” he told HT on Friday.
The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) – with as many as 60,000 beneficiaries in Patna – has already put in place a system for generating computerised prescriptions in upper-case letters. Drugs meant to be purchased locally through an empanelled private chemist, or those supplied through its formulary, are routed internally through the CGHS computerised network – leaving no scope for confusion or tampering.
However, the institute – which is visited by nearly 2,000 patients every day – is yet to evolve such a mechanism.