Monday, August 19, 2013

When minor operations turn fatal - Times of India article

Dr Aniruddha Malpani of HELP Library says transparency would help. "A part of the problem is that no one wants to talk about medical errors. The aviation industry records its near-misses so that it can learn from it. In contrast, even in medical schools, effort are made to gloss over medical errors," says Dr Malpani.

Is there something patients should do? Asha's daughter Radhika Sachdev insists on proper homework by patients: "Don't be afraid to ask questions even when the doctor's answers are vague or evasive." Dr Malpani suggests that doctors should have a checklist and the government should draw up minimum standards for hospitals/clinics.

The key is to use experiences constructively. "The burning of Singhania Hospital in Thane was an example of destructive reaction," adds Dr Malpani, referring to the 2001 incident when Shiv Sena activists destroyed the 200-bed Sunitidevi Singhania Hospital after their leader Anand Dighe, who was being treated for a fracture, died. "Patients and their families should instead turn into advocates and talk about their experiences so that others can learn and avoid them."

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