On May 20, 2011, doctors at P D Hinduja hospital operated upon Reshma Hingorani (43) to remove stones from her kidney. On July 2, she was discharged from the same hospital -- with an amputated leg.
Her husband Mahender Hingorani has now slapped a legal notice on the Mahim hospital, demanding compensation of Rs five crore as damages for the ‘gross medical negligence’ suffered by his wife.
Mahender served a legal notice to six doctors, including the hospital’s medical director Dr Gustad Daver and the matron on Sunday. The other doctors to be mentioned in the legal notice include Dr Sharad Sagade, consultant urologist, Dr Khusrav Bajan, consultant physician, Dr Simran Singh, consultant physician, Dr Navnit Kumar, consultant cardiologist and Dr C Balakrishnan, consultant rheumatologist.
“My wife underwent a minimally invasive procedure to have her kidney stones extracted, under the care of Dr Sharad Sagade; however shortly after the surgery was performed, her condition deteriorated and she had to be shifted to the ICU,” said Mahender.
He explained that a delay of a few hours in removing the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) -- a device used to provide temporary support for the heart -- caused the infection to spread through her body, which led to clots in her limbs.
“We also suspect she was injected with a certain drug to which she had a reaction, but no tests were conducted. We were told later that the IABP was removed almost 12 hours after the surgery, for which we hold the Dr Khusrav Bajan responsible,” added Mahender.
Soon, Reshma’s limbs swelled up and a blood clot formed in her upper right thigh. She underwent a vascular surgical procedure on her blood vessels. Two days later, she underwent another surgical procedure to treat a blood clot in her upper arm.
Mahender alleges that his wife’s right limb had to eventually be amputated, as three blood clots that had formed in her lower right limb had not been treated. In his legal notice (copy with MiD DAY), Mahender alleges that Dr Daver does not possess a single qualification to perform vascular surgery.
Mahender, who was initially told to pay Rs 55,000 for the removal of kidney stones, said he had to pay an additional Rs 2.13 lakh after his wife was shifted to the ICU.
He was informed that he would have to shell out another Rs 5.92 lakh, when she started developing blood clots on her right leg and arm. When he refused to pay that amount, his wife was then shifted to the general ward of the hospital.
Reshma was finally discharged on July 2. For the next two years, she had to undergo extensive treatment following the amputation. She is now able to walk with the help of a prosthetic limb attached to her right knee. Her husband has spent an additional Rs 2.4 lakh for her surgeries in another private hospital in the city.
The Other Side
Dr Gustad Daver, medical director and consultant general surgeon at the hospital, denied all the allegations levelled by Hingorani. “The IABP was used to stabilise her heart. The blood clots formed in her limbs as she contracted sepsis after her kidney stones were removed. We were unable to treat the three blood clots in her lower right limb. Ultrasound is able to show only regular sized clots but these were smaller ones and the blood vessels could not be accessed because of their small size,” said Dr Daver, adding, “An embulectomy was performed on the effected blood vessels for removal of clots that were blocking blood circulation to her lower leg. She developed gangrene in that region of her leg and we were then left with no option but to amputate the leg below her knee.”
Asked what caused Reshma to contract sepsis after a minimally invasive procedure, Dr Sagade said, “She had kidney stones for the last three years. The bacteria from her kidney stones entered her blood stream, which caused flaring in her blood vessels. That could have caused the blood clots in her limbs.”
Dr Sagade admitted that this was the first time he treated a patient suffering from hypercoagulation (excessive blood clotting) after kidney stones were extracted from the body. The doctors maintained that the patient’s leg had to be amputated due to complications in the case, and not because of their negligence.
Dr Daver stated that he possessed the required qualifications to conduct vascular surgeries as he underwent a three-year fellowship in Baylor College of Medicine in the US in cardio-vascular and multi-organ transplant surgery.
Dr Bajan refused to comment on the issue. Though Hingorani claims he was not provided with medical documents from the hospital till now, Dr Daver said the hospital had forwarded them the required documents and would not hesitate in providing any further documents they demand for.