Torchlight surgery: Bihar govt issues show-cause notices to two docs after patient’s death | patna | Hindustan Times
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Torchlight surgery: Bihar govt issues show-cause notices to two docs after patient’s death

The state health department is also conducting an inquiry into the circumstances that led to a fourth-grade hospital employee having to stitch the woman’s wound despite the presence of a doctor and two nurses at the Saharsa Sadar Hospital on March 16.

patna Updated: Mar 23, 2018 22:07 IST
Ruchir Kumar
After the incident, the government decided to replace all manual generators at district hospitals across the state with auto-ignition ones.
After the incident, the government decided to replace all manual generators at district hospitals across the state with auto-ignition ones.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Bihar government on Friday issued show-cause notices to two doctors in connection with the death of a woman who was allegedly operated under torchlight at the Saharsa Sadar Hospital last week.

The health department is also conducting an inquiry into the circumstances that led to a fourth-grade hospital employee having to stitch the woman’s wound despite the presence of a doctor and two nurses.

A viral video of the March 16 incident showed the woman lying unconscious on a stretcher while a person in a khaki shirt stitched an injury on her right hand. The surgical procedure was conducted under torchlight due to a power cut.

“We have issued show-cause notices to Dr Anil Kumar, deputy superintendent and in-charge of the Saharsa Sadar Hospital, as well as the on-duty doctor, Dr Ratan Kumar Jha, in connection with the alleged lapses. They have been asked to submit their replies to the department within three days,” said principal secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar.

Kumar admitted that the hospital had suffered an eight-minute power cut between 7.06 am and 7.14 am on March 16, while the woman was being attended to. It was during this period that the hospital employee whipped out a torch to complete the task.

“The patient’s wound should have been stitched by the doctor or grade-A nurses at the institution. It is appalling that a fourth-grade employee was told to perform the task,” Kumar said.

He, however, could not immediately confirm if the hospital had a designated dresser for the job. Many dresser positions in Bihar hospitals are lying vacant.

After the incident, the government decided to replace all manual generators at district hospitals across the state with auto-ignition ones. It also resolved to ensure regular electricity connections at over 9,800 health sub-centres across the state. “I have instructed my officers to apply for electricity connections after assessing the required power load,” said Kumar.

The deceased, Ruby Kumari, was admitted to the Saharsa Sadar Hospital with injuries on her right hand and leg after an accident. After dressing up her wound, doctors at the hospital referred her to the Patna Medical College Hospital or the Darbhanga Medical College Hospital. However, the woman’s relatives reportedly took her to a private health clinic in Patna, where she passed away on March 21.