Bangalore: In a horrifying incident of medical negligence, a woman was left severely incapacitated for the last three years because of a botched surgery by a Bangalore Hospital. Thirty eight-year-old Shailaja was admitted to Mallige Medical Centre on November 29, 2009 for severe back pain.
She was operated for a prolapsed disc immediately but developed ventricular tachycardia or rapid heartbeat in the recovery phase of anesthesia. Shailaja never recovered after the surgery and has now been vegetating for three years. She can't move, eat or speak to anyone.
Shailaja's husband Muniraju said that he trusted the hospital authorities with the surgery despite Shailaja never having complained of back pain earlier. After the incident, he filed an FIR with the police that compelled hospital authorities to owe up responsibility for his wife's treatment. But the hospital forcibly discharged her and shifted her to MS Ramaiah Hospital, even without asking the family for permission.
Eventually, MS Ramaiah Hospital asked them to vacate the hospital bed as well and Muniraja was forced to bring his vegetating wife home. Since then, he has fought a silent battle and written letters to the then Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and Health Minister Sriramulu, including many others, asking for justice.
Karnataka Medical Education Minister SA Ramadas has now taken note of the matter. Speaking to CNN-IBN, he said, "Until last month, the government had no power to go against any private medical institution. But we will take action tomorrow. Through CNN-IBN, I ask the victims to meet me on Saturday and help will be given."
Shailaja and Muniraja got married in 2003 and had two daughters together. After Muniraja failed to cut any ice with the authorities over the incident, he became a Citizen Journalist for CNN-IBN to voice his plight. His case is currently being heard by the Karnataka Medical Council, whose status is also under question. When the channel tried to approach the doctor concerned with Shailaja's case, he refused to comment and ran away upon seeing the cameras.
Shailaja's brother Ramachandra was quoted as saying, "We approached the Chief Minister and police commissioner but no action has been taken against the hospital authorities. We want justice."