A woman was “wrongly” diagnosed with cancer and subject to chemotherapy at a Government Medical College Hospital in Kottayam, following which the Kerala government has ordered a probe.
Health minister KK Shailaja has ordered an inquiry into the allegations that the middle-aged woman was subject to chemotherapy treatment at the hospital on the basis of a report from a private lab where her sample was tested, officials said Sunday.
The woman who is from Kudassanad in Alappuzha said she had undergone treatment at the general surgery department of the hospital on 28 February for a lump on her breast.
Her samples were taken and sent for testing at the hospital laboratory as well as a private lab.
Chemotherapy was started immediately after the doctors at the oncology department of the hospital received the report from the private lab, which said she had been diagnosed with cancer.
According to The NewsMinute, doctors realised there was a mistake when the woman lost all her hair after a single session of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy was immediately stopped and the oncology department referred her back to the general surgery department where the lump on her breast was removed performing a surgery.
The samples tested at the private lab were again tested at the hospital lab as well as a lab at the Thiruvananthapuram Regional Cancer Centre (RCC).
The reports from both the labs confirmed that it was not cancerous.
“The woman had given a complaint earlier at the medical college and we had conducted an inquiry with a medical team. It was not possible to take action against the doctors as they started treatment based on the lab report,“Kottayam Medical College superintendent Dr Jayakumar TK told TNM.
The woman then complained to the health minister about the the incident and the health issues including serious side-effects she has been facing after the wrong treatment at the hospital.
“I have an eight-year-old daughter and my aged parents. At present, my whole family depends on the meagre income we get from a small shop run by my father,” she told Times of India.
The minister has ordered the Principal of the Government Medical College to probe into the case and submit a report.
Meanwhile, the state’s Human Rights Commission has directed the Medical Education Director to conduct a probe based on the complaint of a human rights activist who wanted the doctors involved expelled and demanded adequate compensation for the victim. The commission has asked for a report to be submitted within three weeks, The Hindu reported.