Surgical material left behind in woman’s womb at Kollam hospital

Representational Image (left) and cotton mops found during Chinju Raj's scan (right). Photo: Manorama Online

Ezhukon (Kollam): In yet another instance of alleged medical negligence, the doctors at the ESI Hospital in Ezhukon, Kollam, reportedly left behind surgical materials, mainly cotton mops, inside the stomach of a woman staff of the same institution following a cesarean procedure.

The slip-up was reported during the surgery held on Chinju Raj (31), of Karthika at Edakkodu, Kollam, who works on contract as a nurse at the hospital here. As the woman complained of shooting pain after the surgery, the hospital authorities performed yet another surgery on her in the guise of clearing a blood clot and removed the material.

Chinju was admitted to the hospital last Friday, and she delivered a baby girl the next day through C-surgery. However, her ordeal began soon after, as she experienced excruciating pain and underwent a scan. Her doctor, however, did not share details of the scan with her relatives, despite multiple inquiries in this regard.

Later on Monday, the doctors here took Chinju to a private scan center at Kottarakkara for a CT scan, though it was the patient’s husband Vipin, who footed a bill of Rs 5,500 for the scan. Soon after, they performed yet another surgery on the woman.

Vipin, however, grew suspicious over the explanations given by the doctor for the second surgery and approached the scan center seeking the scan result. They, however, refused to share it, stating that the result was already given to the doctor concerned.

After being diagnosed with pneumonia and infection in the stomach during another examination yesterday, the relatives attempted to shift her to another hospital. The ESI Hospital authorities, meanwhile, were also accused of failing to hand over the x-ray results and other documents relating to her treatments in a time-bound manner. These documents could be made available only upon intervention by the Ezhukon police, who reached the hospital on a complaint by Vipin.

Verification of the x-ray results, meanwhile, pointed to the presence of a cotton-like object inside the stomach, triggering a suspicion that the doctor concerned had left behind a surgical mop after the surgery. The patient was immediately shifted to the intensive care unit of another hospital in Thiruvananthapuram and is recuperating.

Inquiry on, says medical Superintendent

When contacted, the medical superintendent of the ESI Hospital admitted to the negligence and said that an inquiry has been launched. The object that was left inside the patient was removed immediately as it came to notice. When the relatives sought to shift the patient to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, she was accompanied by a medical team from this hospital that also included the doctor who had performed the surgery, the official said.

The incident comes close on the heels of a woman accusing certain doctors and medical employees of Kozhikode Medical College hospital of leaving behind a pair of scissors inside her stomach following a cesarean surgery. M Harsha (32) even went on a fast outside the hospital after an expert committee constituted by the Health ministry concluded that the 11-cm-long scissors removed from her stomach didn’t belong to the hospital.

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