Alleged professional negligence: Family accuses doctor of operating on patient’s ‘wrong’ leg

Doctors say they did Najma a favour by improving the functioning of her right leg.


Our Correspondent July 10, 2013
After noticing the presence of media teams at the hospital, the medical staff escaped from the counter and ward. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The family of a woman who needed surgery on her left leg but ended up with treatment on her right leg has demanded immediate action against the professional who operated on her.

Doctors at the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), however, claimed that they did the patient a favour by improving the functioning of her right leg after the surgery.



Najma, 25, was suffering from a broken left leg that needed surgery. The doctors, however, operated on her right leg allegedly by mistake.

Najma, a mother of two daughters, broke her leg when she fell while working in a field in her village, Mehar, in district Dadu. She was admitted to the hospital 10-days back. Doctors had fixed her surgery for Tuesday. The case surfaced when the family members protested against the alleged negligence of the doctors.

“We were hardly able to arrange the money for her left leg. How will we arrange the money for the next surgery? What should we do now?” regretted Najma’s brother.

After noticing the presence of media teams at the hospital, the medical staff escaped from the counter and ward.

“She had a problem in both her legs,” said Dr Saeed Qureshi, a medical superintendent at the CHK, adding that Dr Siddiqui, who operated on her leg, could tell the real problem and what went wrong during the operation.

Qureshi said that a committee has been constituted to probe into the matter and is expected to submit a report in a couple of days. He said that the report would also be made public.

The in-charge of the orthopaedic ward, Hasan Dost Afridi, avoided sharing details of the incident. When confirmed that the call was from a media man, the phone was disconnected. “He is busy, call him later,” said a doctor .



Najma’s mother said that doctors’ behaviour was very harsh with the family after the media highlighted the case. “They have taken back all the medical records from us.”

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah while taking notice of the matter directed the secretary health and the MS CHK to submit a report and take action against the doctor. Shah while expressing great dissatisfaction termed the incident as “professional incompetence”.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.

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