Medical Negligence? Doctor removes kidney instead of stone


Doctor- save the Patient but save yourself also

KMG General Hospital in Balasinor, Gujarat has to pay Rs 11.23L compensation to patient’s relative after the doctor removed his left kidney after the patient was admitted for removal of kidney stones.

Nephrectomy due to stone disease may be a challenging procedure owing to the presence of significant inflammation and infection, and can have high complication rate. Merely because a Kidney has been removed for stones can’t be negligence on part of surgeon.  Doctors need to save themselves while taking decisions in good faith. Natural complications can be easily labelled as medical negligence because of faulty definitions of consumerism applied to complex medical scenarios.

Doctors need to be careful on following points as any adverse event can lead to professional hanging.

Communication- Possibly appears to be the main mistake. Doctor could have communicated the need for kidney removal, instead of doing it in good faith. One should remember the strings of consumerism applied to medical science and not the good intentions.

Informed Consent: Many times, surgical plans change during surgery. Therefore consent has assumed an important role in present era. There was no consent for Nephrectomy, but done in good faith. In absence of consent, Whole blame and responsibility is shifted to  the Surgeon. An informed consent will avert untoward aggression apart from legal entanglements.

Performing in suboptimal facility– as newspapers says, Raval was advised to go to a better facility, but he chose to undergo surgery in the same hospital.  Doctors should now be careful to operate, if facilities are not available. They should refrain from taking blame for suboptimal infrastructure.  

Wrong Projection of the problem by media; As the paper says- “The surgery was just for removal of stone from the kidney and the consent was taken for removal of stone only, but the kidney was removed instead”.

  Merely because a  Kidney removed for stones can’t be a negligence on part of the surgeon. It is a procedure which is not uncommon.

Medical Opinion of  experts: The news report doesn’t tell about the expert medical opinion. How in the given circumstances, negligence is proved?  Has any competent surgeon given a report of negligence or it is merely because the patient has died.

KMG General Hospital in Balasinor has to pay Rs 11.23 lakh compensation to a patient’s relative after the doctor removed his left kidney after the patient was admitted for removal of kidney stones, ordered the Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. The patient passed away four months after the vital organ was taken out.According to the report, Devendrabhai Raval from Vanghroli village of Kheda district consulted Dr Shivubhai Patel of KMG General Hospital in Balasinor town for severe back pain and difficulty during passing urine. In May 2011, Raval was diagnosed with a 14 mm stone in his left kidney.

However, Raval was advised to go to a better facility, but he chose to undergo surgery in the same hospital.

He was operated upon on September 3, 2011. The family was surprised when the doctor after the surgery said that instead of the stone, the kidney had to be removed. The doctor cited it was done in the best interest of the patient.Later on, when the patient began having greater problems in passing urine, he was advised to shift to a kidney hospital in Nadiad. Later when his condition deteriorated further, he was taken to IKDRC in Ahmedabad. He succumbed to renal complications on January 8, 2012. Minaben, Raval’s widow, approached the Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission at Nadiad, which in 2012 ordered the doctor, the hospital and the United India Insurance Co Ltd to pay compensation of Rs 11.23 lakh to the widow for the medical negligence.

The district commission’s order brought the hospital and the insurance company to the state commission over the dispute as to who should be held liable to pay compensation. After hearing the dispute, the state commission observed that the hospital had the insurance policy for indoor and outdoor patients, but the insurer was not liable for medical negligence by the treating doctor. The surgery was just for removal of stone from the kidney and the consent was taken for removal of stone only, but the kidney was removed instead. Thus, it is a clear case of negligence on part of the doctor and hospital, reported Times of India.

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