The tragic death of Priya, a resident of Vyasapadi, after she underwent surgery for a ligament tear on her right knee shocked the state and raised many questions about the treatment provided in the government hospitals.

Chennai Football player Priya
news Health Monday, November 21, 2022 - 15:33

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian, on Monday, November 21, in a press meet said that there was no fault in the arthroscopy treatment provided to the 18-year-old footballer Priya and that it was negligence on part of the medical authorities that led to the girl’s death. "Negligence of the doctors led to the death of Priya and departmental action will be taken against the doctors" he further added.

In the press meet he also said that nearly 700 to 800 doctors from 36 government medical college hospitals and district hospitals under the control of the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services (DMS), as well as block-level hospitals, are invited to attend the conference organised by the health department on Wednesday, November 23. The invited doctors are Heads of Departments (HOD) belonging to various surgical departments in these hospitals. At the conference, they are likely to discuss implementing post-surgery audits, for the first time in India, in government hospitals.

Subramanian said that during the conference, doctors will be provided with checklists of the procedures to be done during and post-surgery and the roles of doctors, anesthetists, and nurses. “The checklist and post-surgery audits are available only in European countries. We are talking with officials to implement such a check-list in our state and this will be given as an order during the conference to the doctors,” said the Health Minister. 

Two doctors — Paul Ramsankar, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics, and Casualty Medical Officer Somasundhar from Periya Nagar Government Peripheral Hospital, were suspended after Priya’s death and booked under 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. Doctors approached the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail on November 18. However, the court rejected their plea and asked them to surrender.

When Subramanian was asked about a protest announced by Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA), he said that the doctors who are against the police action also agreed with him that the death occurred due to the negligence of the doctors and they also demanded the departmental actions against them. TNGDA resolved to stage protests across the state if the government does not alter the charges (causing death by negligence) against the doctors.TNGDA called the police action against the doctors ‘extreme’. While offering condolences to Priya’s family members, the association said the police needed to get an opinion from the senior most doctor in the field, as per Supreme Court guidelines.

The tragic death of Priya, a resident of Vyasapadi, after she underwent surgery for a ligament tear on her right knee shocked the state and raised many questions about the treatment provided in the government hospitals. Priya had surgery on November 7. Post-surgery, she complained about pain in her leg. The doctors prescribed a tight compression bandage and medicines for the pain. The very next morning, she was shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) due to a suspected blood clot in her leg. RGGGH doctors then ran a set of tests and informed Priya’s family that the tissues in her right leg were dead. They told them that only an amputation could save her life. Priya’s leg was removed on November 9. However, as her condition did not improve, she had to undergo a second follow-up surgery at RGGGH on Monday, November 14. However, she died a day later on November 15.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin gave Rs. 10 lakh solatium to the family members of Priya and offered a government job to one of her brothers at the National Health Mission on November 17. Priya’s family members received an allotment order for a tenement at Gowthamapuram’s Tamil Nadu Urban Housing Habitat Board.

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