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Patient blames KEM hospital for limb loss

A patient who came to the KEM hospital seeking help for a swelling in his right leg, ended up with both his legs being amputated last week, after a doctor on duty allegedly delayed injecting him with an expensive injection that could have saved his leg.

When 63-year-old Tajuddin Sayyed was admitted to KEM, he was told his right leg would have to be amputated. But soon he realised that his left leg was cold and painful. And within 10 days from the first amputation, his other leg, too, had to be amputated. Relatives allege that the doctors never informed them about the problem in the left leg until Tajuddin complained of pain.


Tajuddin Sayyed with his wife Mehru at KEM Hospital. Pic/Naveen Nair

They also allege that a junior doctor passed rude comments on their economic status.

The doctor who examined him on January 8 when he first went to KEM, had told him the swelling would heal gradually. However, within a week the entire leg was swollen. Relatives rushed him to KEM on January 18 and doctors realised that Tajuddin was suffering from dry gangrene (atherosclerosis) and amputated his right leg up to the knee on January 19. Relatives allege that at the time doctors had not mentioned anything about a problem with the left leg.

Mehru Sayyed, Tajuddin’s wife said, “When my husband was transferred to the ward after the surgery his left leg went cold.”

She claimed that only after repeated complaints did the doctors check on him and said they would have to buy an expensive injection to heal the leg.

Though the Sayyeds fall under the lower economic strata and are yellow ration cardholders, they could not avail the benefit of Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yojana.

“When I told a junior doctor that I did not have money, he pointed to the imitation jewellery my daughter and I were wearing. He said we could afford jewellery but not medicines,” Mehru alleged.

However, Dr Sameer Rege, assistant professor of surgery at KEM hospital, said, “The family neglected the patient at home. The problem on the left leg was minor so we continued with medication but we could not save it. The right leg had a bigger issue of course.” 

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