Right is NOT Left! Docs Operate on Wrong Leg

Right is NOT Left! Docs Operate on Wrong Leg

Mangaluru: Here is yet another example as to what happens when dumb students and rich students join medical colleges by paying lump sum money, and when it is time to get their degree, they once again pay money to obtain their degree certificate- and once they are christened as doctors to treat patients without any knowledge, landing into malpractice issues. We have heard many instances in and around Mangaluru that through the negligence of physicians people have lost lives- and still such kind of incidents keep happening without any actions taken against these doctors or even the management is least bothered in taking precautionary measures to stop such kind of negligence and carelessness by the doctors.


The latest incident about the negligence of doctors took place at a renowned Fortis Hospital in New Delhi. TV coverage on CNN-IBN revealed about a shocking incident of negligence in the National capital where doctors of renowned Fortis Hospital, situated in the Shalimar Bagh area, operated 24-year-old Ravi Rai’s left leg instead of his injured right leg. The incident happened after Ravi fractured his right leg as he fell down from stairs. His family rushed him to Fortis Hospital. The doctors there got some tests done, including a CT-scan and an X-Ray and diagnosing the reports, said that his condition was serious and a surgery would have to be performed.


On the doctor’s advice, Ravi agreed for the surgery but surprisingly, doctors operated his left leg which was perfectly fine. Sources said that after gaining consciousness, Ravi kept frantically telling the doctors that his left leg was operated, however, they came to the aid only after half an hour. Ravi alleged that the doctor’s confusion about the affected leg led to the incident. When the family of the patient came to know about this they called the police and registered an FIR against the hospital.

What is shocking about the incident is that it has taken place in a renowned Accredited Hospital. Quality standards require a number of formatted documentation including surgical safety checklists, PAC forms with definite time out, which act as checks and balances to ensure that such mistakes in surgeries do not take place. The hospitals authorities acknowledging the mistake, have immediately sprung in for friendly settlement with Rai’s family- but the family have already filed an FIR and wants to file a lawsuit against the hospital and doctors.

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    My son who is also a doctor visited a doctor in Udupi for severe stomach pain. While the doctor was not available physically at the hospital, he was consulted over the phone. He suggested scanning and diognised as a Kidney Stone.
    He was advised to get admitted immedietly for surgery. Upon calling me, I advised him to come to Kundapur and see the family doctor. He also scanned and there was a kidney stone. However, he prescribed oral medicine (and no surgery) for dilating the stone. It is a week now and he is ok.
    Funny part is: At Udupi, apart from the usual charges, there was also a charge of Rs 200 for telephonic consultation!

  2. Sri Devi’s mother was operated at the MSKCC where they opened the wrong side for a brain tumor. She sued this famous hospital for a huge sum which she was awarded by the court. So be it India or USA, merit student or donation student. Errors happen. Some are grievous. That’s why intelligent nurses alert the surgeon and save mishaps.

  3. I fully agree with Drona. Wrong side operation is uncommon but it happens in the US or UK [over 100 cases per year despite all precautions were taken. It should be considered as a medical negligence and the causation cannot be defended in court of law. Patient should be compensated.

    This complication is nothing to do with Doctors who pay donation to become a doctor. Media should not criticise doctors on the basis of richness of the doctor or his medical school or whether he has paid donation or not.

  4. In response to the comments posted by Vas here, I want to clarify that I was not talking about paying donation to enter a medical college, what I meant was “Bribing” in lakhs up to crore to get a medical seat is a act of corruption. There is a difference between a donation and bribe. Also paying in lakhs to obtain a degree certificate is actually not a donation, it is a illegal act of bribery. Period! Thanks for the comment- I appreciate your feed back.

  5. How can the author be so judgy about doctors?
    it could be the mistake of technicians, nurses also who have marked the wrong leg. the diagnosis could have been by one doctor and the surgeon could have been different. the patient would be unconscious ,
    so who takes the blame ?

  6. “It could be the mistake of technicians, nurses who have marked the WRONG leg….” – ‘Docta’ Vibha

    Sure! AND the priest could have said the ‘wrong’ Novena/the Poojari could have chanted the ‘wrong’ mantra/the Mulla could have made the prayer call at the ‘wrong’ time etc.

    And then again, the sun could have ‘risen’ in the west on that not-so-fine-a-day – the day of the op and then gone on to ‘set’ in the East.

    So, instead of the nurse, technician, some other doc, we could blame the priest/poojari/mulla and the sun too! That said, the Surgeon has made absolutely NO mistake. Well said Vibha! 😉

    Makes me wonder if the ‘surgeon’ was really one or belonged to the sturgeon species….or worse – was/is a RMP Registered Marana Punditha’.

  7. Vas
    Yes,It happens in US or any country but when investigated reason is negligence of doctor.If in other country then India the surgeons licence would have been suspended & investigation would have been started,if found guilty had to pay in thousands with licence termination

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