Medical Negligence On Four-Year-Old Girl Leads To Operation On Tongue Instead Of Finger

Responding to the carelessness of the hospital, the Kerala state government took swift action against the faculty responsible for the wrong surgery.

A four-year-old girl underwent surgery on the wrong body part on Thursday in the Government Medical College Hospital in Kerala. Scheduled to have an extra finger removed, the young patient instead had an operation on her tongue, causing an uproar and prompting swift action from authorities.

The negligence was discovered by the girl’s family when they noticed cotton stuffed in her mouth post-surgery. “We were shocked to see cotton in her mouth and immediately realized something was wrong,” said a family member. It was later found that the surgery had been mistakenly performed on her tongue, not her hand.

Responding to the carelessness of the hospital, the Kerala state government took swift action against the faculty responsible for the wrong surgery. Associate Professor Dr. Bejohn Johnson has been suspended pending a thorough investigation. Health Minister Veena George announced the suspension after receiving a preliminary report from the Director of Medical Education.

Minister George stated, “We have suspended the doctor and ordered a detailed inquiry. This incident is unacceptable, and strict directives have been issued to ensure all medical protocols are followed correctly in the future.” The police have also registered a case against Dr. Johnson based on a complaint from the girl’s family.

The police have reportedly booked Dr. Johnson under IPC Sections 336 (endangering the life or personal safety of others) and 337 in response to the complaint. “The child had no issues with her tongue, and this mistake is inexcusable,” said an officer at the Kozhikode Medical College police station.

Also read: Rutgers Study Says Infertility Patients At A Higher Risk Of Heart Diseases Postpartum

The child’s family has expressed their distress and demanded accountability from the hospital. “No one should have such an experience again at the Medical College Hospital,” they asserted. The family also emphasized that the hospital must take responsibility for any adverse consequences the child might face due to the erroneous procedure.

The hospital has acknowledged the mistake, attributing it to a scheduling mix-up involving surgeries for two children on the same date. “The hospital authorities told us it was a mistake because they had scheduled surgeries for two children on the same date,” a family member explained.

This incident has sparked widespread concern about the adherence to medical protocols in hospitals across the state. The Health Minister’s office has assured the public that comprehensive measures will be taken to prevent such incidents in the future. The detailed inquiry will look into the causes of this mistake and recommend actions to improve surgical protocols and patient safety.

As the investigation unfolds, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical need for meticulous care and protocol adherence in medical procedures. The family and the wider community await further developments and hope for justice and improved medical practices to ensure patient safety.