Wrong injection kills 22-year-old watchman

A 22-year-old man suffering from cold and fever died two days after he was administered an injection by a general physician. The injection gave him temporary relief but caused grave swelling on his left limb the next day.

“After he visited Dr G L Visaria and took an injection, he informed us that he was feeling better and resumed with his work as usual,” said the victim’s brother, Kamal Khatri (27).

Hikmat who had recently moved to the city from Nepal was working as a watchman in a building in Sandu Garden, Chembur. The swelling on his left limb made it impossible for him to walk the next day. He was then rushed to a nearby private hospital.

“We tried taking him to Dr Visaria again but since it was a Sunday, his clinic was closed. He was then shifted to Joy Hospital where the doctors informed us he had to be admitted immediately,” said Kamal.

Doctors at the private hospital observed that Hikmat had developed cellulitis in his left buttock and limb along with fluid retention in his knee a day after the injection was administered to him. Cellulitis is the inflammation of skin tissues caused by bacteria which enters the skin through blisters or even intravenous drug injection.

However, as he was unable to afford the treatment in the hospital, he was then referred to civic-run Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar where he was admitted in the general ward on Monday morning. Despite undergoing treatment, the Nepali national died a few hours later in the hospital at around 4 pm. While his postmortem was conducted in the hospital and his viscera samples have been sent for histopathology testing to Kalina Forensic Laboratory.

Dr Sanjay Wathore, medical officer at the post-mortem center said, “There was severe swelling and oedema in his left limb especially where the injection, diclofenac sodium, was administered which led to discolouration in his skin tissues. The injection is usually given for joint pains and inflammation in the tissues.”

Hikmat’s body was taken to his village in Nepal by his relatives. “We are in a state of shock and can’t believe he died after he complained only of fever and cold,” said Kamal.

A sub inspector from Chembur police station said that they are now waiting for the report from Kalina forensic lab after which action will be taken. “The report will determine if his death was caused due to his own illness or the doctor’s negligence,” he said. 

The Other Side
Dr GL Virasia said that he does not have a record of any such patient treated at his clinic. Speaking to MiD DAY, he said, “I don't recall treating this patient and in any case, cellulitis doesn’t develop in a span of 2-3 days.” He added, “For someone complaining of a cold and fever, I would not have administered diclofenac sodium injection. I must’ve given him a paracetamol injection which has less chances of causing cellulitis as compared to diclofenac sodium.” 

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