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Kerala: 17-year-old's arm amputated, family alleges medical negligence

Kerala Health Minister Veena George has ordered an inquiry into the incident. She has assured action against erring hospital

Kerala 17-year-old's arm amputated, family alleges medical negligence
First Published Nov 21, 2022, 11:38 PM IST

A fall while playing football has become an ordeal for 17-year-old Sultan, as alleged negligence led to the amputation of his arm. His family alleges that the government hospital at Thalassery delayed treatment and surgery, which caused the complications.

On the family's complaint, Health Minister Veena George has ordered an inquiry into the incident. "This is a very serious allegation. Health Secretary will submit a report in two days after an inquiry by officials from the Health Services Directorate. Stringent action will be taken against persons concerned," the minister said.

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It was on October 30 that Sultan's arm was fractured while playing football near his house. Though he was taken to the government hospital in Thalassery immediately, the treatment was delayed. Since the X-Ray machine was not working, the boy had to be taken to another hospital. The family brought him back to Thalassey hospital the next day and the doctor prescribed surgery, yet it was done a day later only when his arm showed a change of colour, the family alleges.

Sultan was referred to the Medical College in Pariyaram on November 11. Even there, the treatment was delayed, the family says. When doctors informed the family that Sultan’s whole arm needs to be amputated, his parents moved him to a private hospital. Finally, the arm just below the elbow was amputated.

Government hospital authorities maintain that Sultan developed Compartment Syndrome on the third day, which reduced blood flow in his arm. "Surgery was done on the third day, but the infection grew worse, and he started bleeding, so he was referred to the Medical College. We had informed the family about the chances of infection," is the explanation from the hospital.

Whatever the reason, it has caused a football-loving 17-year-old to lose his arm.

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