The Thiruvananthapuram woman had undergone a cesarean at the government hospital in Thycaud.

Alfina who alleged medical negligence against government hospital in KeralaImage credit: Asianet News
news Medical negligence Friday, November 27, 2020 - 17:19

A Thiruvananthapuram woman has accused a government hospital in the district of medical negligence, alleging that a piece of cotton (surgical mop) was left in her abdomen after a surgery. The alleged negligence came to light after the woman’s condition deteriorated following the surgery last month. A surgical mop was retrieved from her abdomen after another surgery was performed at another hospital.

Twenty-eight-year-old Alfina Ali, a resident of Valiyathura, had undergone a cesarean in the Government Women and Children’s Hospital at Thycaud in Thiruvananthapuram on September 4. According to Alfina, though she kept informing the hospital staff about pain and discomfort in the abdomen, she was discharged with doctors saying her complaints are normal. “When I complained about abdominal pain and vomiting, they said it could be because of gas trouble. They did not even scan me again and I was discharged,” Alfina tells TNM.

“But after going home, I developed breathlessness and the vomiting continued, I was not able to take food,” she says. Following this, Alfina’s family took her to another hospital nearby and the scan showed a foriegn substance in her abdomen.

“Following this, I was taken to SAT Hospital -- the maternity wing of Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital -- and it was found there was an infection in my abdomen and that it was filled with pus,” she says. Although a key-hole surgery was performed, the substance could not be retrieved and Alfina then had to undergo an open surgery.

Medical report following the surgery confirmed that a surgical mop was retrieved from ‘paracolic gutters’ -- spaces between the colon and the abdominal wall. Alfina says she has not fully recovered and she finds it difficult to walk properly. The family has filed a complaint with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Health Minister KK Shailaja.

Meanwhile, officials at the Women and Children’s Hospital told TNM that an inquiry has been ordered. “We cannot respond without the inquiry being completed. However, the family has not approached us with any complaints,” said Dr Anitha Thomas, Resident Medical Officer of the hospital.

Read: Justice denied: Why medical negligence goes unpunished in India, what can be done

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