'Negligence at Sassoon claimed life of 65-yr-old'

Feb 15, 2013, 08:33 IST | Anup Satphale

Family claims that following an operation for brain haemorrhage, the patient was discharged despite the fact that he was in an unconscious state on that day; was readmitted when his wound opened, but passed away the next day

In an unfortunate incident, a 65-year-old man allegedly had to pay with his life for the negligence of doctors in the famed Sassoon Hospital. On January 26, one Ramesh Vasant Gavali was admitted to a private hospital in Vishrantwadi after he fainted at home. He was asked to get an angiography done, as the doctors there suspected a blockage, and was directed to Sassoon Hospital. 

“We got a letter from the doctor in the private hospital and shifted Ramesh to Sassoon Hospital two days later. However, the doctor present in the casualty ward said that he was fine and could be taken home. He said that no angiography was needed,” said Dipak Gavali, Ramesh’s elder brother. However, Gavali felt uneasy and dizzy around 1 am that nightand was taken to Sassoon Hospital around 4 am on January 29. 

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“A CT scan was conducted a few hours after he was admitted,” said Dipak. “The report revealed a blood clot in his head, which indicated a brain haemorrhage,” he added.  He was taken to the operation theatre the same day, but his operation was delayed for 24 hours, said Dipak. “After the operation, he was shifted to the recovery ward,” said Ranjit Pardeshi, Ramesh’s friend. “He regained consciousness on the sixth day, after which he was put on a liquid diet. However, he lost consciousness again the next day. Surprisingly, the doctors began pushing us for a discharge soon after, even though Ramesh hadn’t regained consciousness.” 

When the family refused to take the patient home, the doctor said that his treatment would suffer as a result. After hearing this, his family took Ramesh home after his stitches were removed 12 days after the operation, on Tuesday. His family claims that Ramesh was still unconscious when he was given the discharge.  “A day after we took him home, his wound swelled and opened. We rushed Ramesh back to Sassoon Hospital on Wednesday and the doctors declared him dead yesterday.” Dipak added. 

Furious over the negligence, Pardeshi had contacted medical superintendent D G Kulkarni regarding the non-cooperative behaviour of doctors. However, he was told to file a complaint and only then would the action be taken. However, Ramesh passed away before he could do so.  “Following Ramesh’s death, I immediately met Dean Ajay Chandanwale, who also expressed grief over the incident and promised strict action against those involved,” Pardeshi said.

“This is wrong and I am totally against bad behaviour of the staff,” said Kulkarni. “I have requested the family to file a complaint and accordingly, we will set up an inquiry against those involved and take strict action,” he added. However, later, repeated calls to Kulkarni to determine the cause of Ramesh’s death went unanswered.

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