Mark surgical site, recheck to avoid mistakes, says IMA

28 June, 2016

Delhi Medical Council has launched a probe into a recent case of medical negligence

Rattled by a recent case of medical negligence, where doctors at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, operated on 24-year-old Ravi Rai’s left leg instead of his injured right leg, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has recommended that surgeons must mark the surgical site before going into the operating room.

The case

Ravi fractured his right leg after a fall down the stairs. The doctors at the hospital suggested a number of tests, including a CT-scan and an x-ray. They then told the family that his condition was serious and that an immediate surgery would have to be performed.

Following the doctor’s advise, Ravi agreed to the surgery. To the family’s horror, the doctors operated his uninjured left leg instead. The family has filed a first information report.

The Delhi Medical Council (DMC) has intervened in the matter, with a team visiting the hospital for preliminary investigations. The DMC has now referred the matter to its disciplinary committee.

DMC’s Girish Tyagi said: “The hospital has been asked to send in all records pertaining to the case and a committee will look into the matter. There are six members in the committee and we will also call experts to assist us.”


Meanwhile, the IMA has recommended that operating teams in any medical establishment across the country should take the time to check medical records and x-rays, discuss among themselves what they are about to do and corroborate the information with the patient before the surgery to avoid such errors. Before starting the surgery, all members of the surgical team should confirm that they have the correct patient, surgical site and procedure, the IMA added.

IMA national president S.S. Agarwal said utmost care must be taken during surgery to ensure that such an incident is not repeated. Thorough checks and measure have to be put in place and strictly followed to avoid this, he added.

Doctors at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, operated on a man’s left leg instead of injured right foot