Doctor arrested for medical negligence

Patient’s son claims doctor cut off ventilator support in undue haste.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: December 12, 2013 2:05:35 am

The police Thursday arrested a doctor with a private hospital in Sion after a patient’s family complained of negligence.

According to the police,the doctor allegedly cut off the patient’s ventilator off saying there was a slim chance of survival,though the patient’s son found him still breathing two hours later.

The arrested doctor was identified as Atul Chirmale,employed with Atharva Hospital in Sion.

The police said on Wednesday,Sion resident Chandrakant Gangurde (59) was admitted to the hospital with complaints of chest pain and laboured breathing and was put on ventilator support.

A doctor at the hospital said the left side of the patient’s body was paralysed and that he had a history of fever. “His condition was very critical and it was difficult to judge whether he would survive,” the doctor said.

On Wednesday evening,Chirmale examined Gangurde and told his family there was a very slim chance of survival. The family subsequently signed a consent letter and ventilator support was discontinued,after which he was shifted from the intensive care unit (ICU) to another room.

“Around two hours later,Gangurde’s son found him still breathing and brought it to the attention of the hospital authorities. He then came to the police station and filed a complaint,saying his father could have died in the two-hour period without the ventilator support,” said senior inspector Baburao Gavit of Sion police station.

Chirmale was taken into custody late Wednesday night and arrested Thursday morning. He has been booked for endangering life due to rash and negligent behaviour under section 336 of the Indian Penal Code.

Gangurde was later shifted to Kohinoor Hospital in Kurla.

Meanwhile,the administration at Atharva hospital claimed there was no medical lapse. “The consultant doctor has 35 years of experience. He cut off the ventilator support only after the relatives signed a consent letter,” said a junior doctor with the hospital.

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