Charge sheet for Matara hospital docs

* Amputation of Law student’s hand

by Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Health Ministry yesterday said it had, on Friday (22), taken steps to charge sheet all those responsible, at the Matara General Hospital, for the situation that led to the amputation of Colombo University final year law student Achala Priyadharshani’s left forearm.

The spokesman for the Health Ministry said a special report, prepared by the Ministry’s Legal Division and charge sheets for all those responsible for the incident, had been sent to the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The Ministry appointed Special investigations team comprising Director of Medical Services Dr. Lal Panapitiya, Consultant Surgeons Dr. Narendra Pinto, Dr. Thilak Kollure and Dr. B. G. S. Ratnasena, handed in their recommendations, following an extensive investigation carried out at the Matara General Hospital (MGH) to the Health Secretary two weeks ago.

The investigators pointed out the failure to provide proper medical care at the time, the delay in providing medical attention, the inability to carry out their medical responsibility in order to prevent the amputation and administrative drawbacks in managing the patient. The spokesman said that the Ministry had charge sheeted all those responsible at the Hospital.

However, officials of the PSC could not be contacted for comment at the time of going to press.

A doctor at the MGH placed a plaster of paris cast on Achala Priyadharshani’s left arm after she fractured it in a fall at home. A few days later, she was admitted to the Matara Hospital complaining that the cast was too tight. The cast had not been removed despite a complaint that there was severe pain in her left arm. Instead a Pethidine injection had been administered for three days as prescribed on the diagnosis card.

As her condition worsened, she was transferred to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, which had refused to admit her. Subsequently, she was admitted to the National Hospital where doctors had to amputate her left forearm.

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