The four-member committee which probed the amputation of law student Achala Priyadharshini’s arm has highlighted medical negligence at some point during the treatment of the broken arm as the reason, the Daily Mirror learns.
A health ministry spokesman said the haphazard manner in which her broken hand had been plastered had caused an infection. How and when it happened would only be ascertained after the report has been fully looked into.
Achala is reported to have broken her left hand during a fall at home and admitted to the Urubokka - Heegoda Rural Hospital and later transferred to the Matara Teaching Hospital where gangrene had set in with the arm going dead. Her hand was amputated at the Colombo National Hospital (CNH).
The committee comprising Medical Services Director Dr. Lal Panapitiya, Consultant Physician Dr. Naraendra Pinto, Consultant Physician Dr. Tilak Kollure and Consultant Physician Dr. P. Rtnasena had submitted its report to Health Ministry Secretary Nihal Jayatilaka yesterday.
The spokesman said the committee had recorded statements from some 20 people including the medical staff who treated Achala and from her father.
Dr. Jayatilka is expected to file a report with recommendations to Minister Sirisena based on the committee findings today for appropriate action.
Meanwhile, Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa told Daily Mirror that in an incident of proven medical negligence, the affected parties have four remedies.
They can complain to the Health Ministry, to the Health Minister directly, to the SLMC or initiate legal action seeking compensation.
The amputation created a huge public backlash and sympathy with President Mahinda Rajapaksa assuring she would be provided with a modern electronic arm. (Sandun A.Jayasekera)