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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Hospital Horror: From numb hands to quadriplegia

Hospital Horror: From numb hands to quadriplegia

January 22, 2015 09:28 IST

B M Gupta's wife developed numbness in her hands. A doctor suggested an operation. Post-surgery she was paralysed and lost the use of both her hands and legs.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

I want to share my experience of a very big hospital.

My wife was admitted in November 2013 for a detailed check-up relating to numbness in her hands. She went through many tests and was finally diagnosed with a tumour in the spine, at the C2, C3 level.

The case was transferred to a surgeon. He explained the risks and told us very confidently that he has done about 70 such surgeries, every month, for the last four years. He had not seen a single case of post-surgery complications.

We agreed to go ahead. The surgery happened in December 2013.

The doctor told us that the total bill would be approximately Rs 1.80 lakhs.

After surgery there were complications. My wife was not able to move either her hands or her legs.

She was suffering from quadriplegia.

The surgeon had no explanation. He was not able to answer properly. He said he did not know the reason for my wife's post-surgery condition.

If a doctor does not know why my wife became a quadriplegic, I feel, it meant he was incompetent to treat such cases.

That same day my wife was put on ventilator.

We spent about Rs 28 lakhs for her subsequent three-month stay in the hospital.

She was not able to speak even.

After her discharge she has been treated at home. We continuously spend Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.50 lakh every month.

My wife has lost her government job. Our family is very disturbed.

The point I would like to bring to everyone's notice is that some doctors, it seems, accept cases to make money. They do not take their cases seriously. They also give undue confidence to their patients. Had the doctor told me about the possible consequences of the surgery, I might have considered some other treatment. Or I might have taken my wife to a more expert doctor.

My wife today is completely dependent on others for the rest of her life. She lost her job. We have lost about Rs 50 lakh so far.

For those suffering from spinal problems:

  • Please do not consider surgery after getting just one doctor's opinion.
  • Try other types of treatment and go to a trusted, well-known surgeon.

Also Read: N Pathak's Hospital Horror Story 

Reader Invite

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To highlight this critical lapse in health care in India, we want to hear YOUR HOSPITAL HORROR STORY.

  • Did you or your family undergo surgery and face a life-threatening situation because of a hospital's negligence?
  • Were you grossly overcharged by the hospital? What happened when you took it up with the hospital?

Please send us a brief outline of your case, the name of the hospital, admission dates, along with scanned copies of your hospital bills and correspondence with the hospital, via e-mail, with the subject line Hospital Horror Story, to getahead@rediff.co.in

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