Amputation of boy’s fractured hand; case against doctor for medical negligence

The hand of Sultan bin Siddique, son of Chettamkunnu Nasa Quarters, had to be amputated. Photo: Manorama

Kannur: The Thalassery police have registered a case on a complaint filed by the father of a boy whose hand had to be amputated after it was fractured in a fall suffered while the boy was playing football.

The police action came after the family of the boy submitted complaints to the Chief Minister and the Health Minister alleging that medical negligence by doctors at the Thalassery General Hospital and Kozhikode Medical College had led to the boy losing his forearm.

The police registered the case against orthopaedic specialist Dr. Vijumon of the Thalassery General Hospital.

The police said the case was registered for medical negligence and that further action would be taken after the Health Department issues directives in this regard.
The hand of Sultan bin Siddique, son of Chettamkunnu Nasa Quarters, had to be amputated in a private hospital at Chala.

The boy had suffered two fractures on his left hand in a fall while he was playing football on October 30. At the Thalassery General Hospital, the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) bandaged the boy’s hand using a scale after an X-ray was taken, the family said. Though the orthopaedician, Dr. Vijumon had said that a surgery would be done on October 31, it was not carried out. However, on our insistence, a surgery was done the next day.  It was informed that a steel rod had been implanted but blood circulation in the hand had stopped, the family said.

The next day, the boy was shifted to the ward for burn injury patients. It was informed that the operated area on the hand had not been stitched up and that was the reason the boy was shifted to the burns ward. The next day, the boy was unable to move his fingers on the fractured hand.

At last, on November 9, the boy was referred to the medical college, stating that in order to close the surgery wound, plastic surgery would be required.

Dr. Rajan of the Kozhikode Medical College, who examined the boy, said that four surgeries would be required and that a situation may arise wherein the hand would have to be amputated.

The boy, who was writhing in pain, was not provided any other treatment. The patient was taken to a hospital in Coimbatore after doctors at a private hospital in Kozhikode advised amputation of the hand. The doctors in Coimbatore too were of the same opinion. The boy was then shifted to a private hospital in Chala and his hand was amputated from below the elbow.

The family said it was the negligence shown by the Thalassery General Hospital that caused gangrene in the boy’s hand, leading to a situation where the forearm had to be amputated and demanded punitive action against those responsible.

Dr. Vijumon said that the boy was examined the very next day after he was admitted. There was only another small boy with the patient. Though it was conveyed that any adult who arrives should contact the medical authorities, no one had turned up till the evening. A surgery was done after the results from the laboratory tests were obtained. By then, the hand had become swollen after the blood vessels suffered blocks

Dr. Vijumon said that he had promptly informed the boy’s father that the forearm may have to be amputated.

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