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Woman Dies After A 200% Safe Heart Procedure Costing Rs 43 Lakh

The family reported that they were not well-informed about the risk and that the cardiologist, who came from Jaipur for the transcatheter procedure, Dr Ravinder Singh Rao, never met them before.

Woman Dies After A 200% Safe Heart Procedure Costing Rs 43 Lakh

The family alleged that they were not informed about the risk involved

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Woman dies after a 200% safe heart procedure
  2. The family reported that they were not well-informed about the risk
  3. Doctors deny any form of medical negligence in the case

After a great deal of difficulty, Mithulal Bafna succeeded in raising an amount of Rs 43 lakhs for the treatment of his 56-year old wife, who couldn't make it and passed away a fortnight ago. But that's not what is affecting him so deeply. Despite the fact that she was being operated by the top heart specialists at the Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, a heart valve, especially ordered for his wife, fell into her heart during a procedure.

Bafna, a 60-year old employee of a private firm, explained in a complaint to the Maharashtra Medical Council that the hospital had assured him that the new procedure, transcatheter mitral valve repair is a '200% safe' procedure that he shall be able to take his wife back home in 5 days. But what happened instead, Bafna's wife left the hospital in a comatose state after a period of 60 days and died in the ambulance in a few minutes.

After this, a trail of complaints and negative discussions followed. The hospital refunded an amount of Rs 12.47 lakhs on humanitarian grounds and told TOI that there was no negligence in medical care whatsoever.

The family reported that they were not well-informed about the risk and that the cardiologist, who came from Jaipur for the transcatheter procedure, Dr Ravinder Singh Rao, never met them before and that the sale papers of the valve mentioned an amount of Rs 1.5 lakhs. However, they paid Rs 11 lakh for the same. One of the doctors also reported that the family had threatened them due to the expenses.

Bafna received a refund of Rs 12.47 lakhs from the hospital and Rs 11 lakhs of insurance. He revealed that he would have never agreed for the procedure if he was informed of the risks involved.

However, the medical side, medical director of Hinduja Hospital director Sanjay Agarwala, cardiac surgeon Kushal Pandey and Singh Rao did not agree to this. Pandey had operatd Manju 6 years ago and informed that she was unwell and couldn't have survived for more than 6 months. Dr Agarwala said that they showed no negligence. The valve couldn't deploy but surgeons fixed a mechanical valve instead.

Dr Singh Rao was one of the few doctors with training in the valve transcatheter procedure. He said that replacing heart valves procedure carries some deal of risk with it. The family said that they were not informed of the risk involved with it.

Manju's mitral valve was discovered 6 years ago and she had been through an open heart procedure for aortic and mitral valve replacement. Dr Pandey did replace her aortic valve but he could not find a mitral valve replacement for the right dimension.

Manju was normal before but 6 months back she started experiencing discomfort again. She was feeling breathless again and a second open heart surgery for her was ruled out by Dr Pandey and other specialists from Chennai and Bengaluru because it was too risky.

Instead, Dr Pandey recommended a transcatheter repair for her and the family chose to go by it. The TOI tried to ask Dr Rao to reveal the number of times he has performed the procedure with the new technique but could not get answers. He did talk about a patient who went through the operation a year ago and is doing well. However, the mitral valve cannot completely replaced by the transcatheter technique.

After taking special permission from Dr Pandey, Dr Rao left for Mumbai to perform this procedure on October 25. The family said they never met Dr Rao, which was refuted by the doctor. Dr Pandey explained that the team of doctors is always prepared for emergencies. 

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