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Lokayukta report says private hospital erred

Staff Reporter

Hospital denies violating norms on organ transplant


Surgery done on Seema Rai on March 2, 2010, she died on May 6 of septic shock

Husband says Fortis Hospitals had no licence to transplant the pancreas


Bangalore: An investigation by the Lokayukta into the death of a patient at Fortis Hospital on Bannerghatta Road last year has exposed several lapses on the part of the hospital.

The probe was conducted on a complaint by the patient's husband, retired Major Pankaj Rai.

The surgery was conducted on Seema Rai on March 2, 2010, and she died on May 6 due to septic shock. Maj. Rai released the findings of the Lokayukta report at a press conference here earlier in the week.

He said the Lokayukta report had termed the inquiry by the State Appropriate Authority for Human Organ Transplantation headed by the then Health Commissioner D.N. Nayak as “erroneous”.

‘Big victory'

“The Lokayukta report is a big victory for me and I will submit this before the Karnataka High Court and Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) where I have filed separate petitions,” Maj. Rai said.

He had approached the appropriate authority saying the hospital had preformed transplantation of the pancreas without taking the consent of the patient or spouse. “That apart, the hospital did not have a licence for [the procedure],” he alleged.

Responding to Maj. Rai's allegations, Mr. Nayak, who retired from service last week, told The Hindu: “Maj. Rai's complaint said his wife died due to negligence by doctors at the hospital. The Appropriate Authority (it is a four-member committee) had concluded this was not conclusively proved. This does not mean there was no negligence. The hospital had licence to transplant kidney, liver and other abdominal parts, which includes pancreas. There is no need for a separate licence for pancreas transplant.”

Licence issue

P. Davison, associate vice-president of Fortis Hospitals, said: “The licensing authority told us there was no need for a separate licence for a pancreas transplant as liver and other abdominal organs cover all other transplants of the abdomen region. When the licence was issued to [us], we ourselves [had asked] but the licensing authority said there was no need for a separate licence.”

He said this had been clarified by the Health Department officials, who had also testified before the court and the KMC.

He denied that the family's consent was not taken before the surgery.

“One of the family members signed the consent papers. The transplant was done through the Zonal Coordination Committee for Organ Transplantation, Karnataka (ZCCK), and there was no room for any negligence.”

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