By Harsha Amarasinghe
Sri Lanka 7’s rugby star Anurudda Wilwara has been left with some horrific burns after a surgery carried out by Dr. Narendra Pinto at Nawaloka Hospital.
Wilwara who has been one of Sri Lanka’s finest rugby players in the shorter format suffered a knee injury during the Mercantile 7’s last month. The former S. Thomas College wing three quarter was then forced to undergo an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery under the supervision of Dr. Pinto at Nawaloka Hospital.
Despite the completion of a successful surgery, Wilwara has noticed some dreadful burns on his right thigh which are believed to be electrical burns in diathermy.
“To be very honest I feel good about the surgery. I think it went very well and I should give credit to Dr. Pinto, but I noticed these burns on my thigh which I think were caused by diathermy,” Wilwara told Daily Mirror.
This has further been confirmed in a medical report issued by Dr. Ananda Dharmapala, Consultant Surgeon [and] Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the Teaching Hospital in Peradeniya, whom Wilwara consulted after the surgery.
“This patient has got burn injury of the right thigh. This may be a diathermy related burn as he noticed this after surgery. This may cause some pain and scare,” stated Dr. Dharmapala in his report.
Wilwara has been receiving treatments for the burn using his personal money for the last three weeks.
“It has been very painful few weeks for me as I can’t even do my day to day work. Every day I go to get treatments for this burn using my personal money for a mistake that has been made by the hospital,” Wilwara alleged.
“I am very disappointed with Nawaloka and that I have to go through this for putting faith in their facilities and expertise,” he added.
However, a spokesperson of Nawaloka Hospital, Tissa Perera, claimed that although the burns are caused by the surgery, it’s largely down to how sensitive the patient’s skin is.
“First of all from the beginning to the end of the surgery, the person responsible is the surgeon. In this sort of surgery they actually use a tourniquet which is like a rubber and this is applied to the relevant area of body of the patient. Now that can be allergic to some patients and some reactions could be developed. But this is an accepted complication when you go through a surgery of this nature. I know it is a part of the surgery. When you apply the tourniquet and if your skin is very sensitive this could happen. I just want to ensure that none of this was done purposefully but it is always down to the skin of the patient,” Perera explained.
Wilwara who looks set to miss most of the upcoming inter-club season however is baffled by the response from Nawaloka Hospital.
“I am actually shocked by their response because if you look at this burn, it’s very painful and looks very nasty. As the hospital shouldn’t that be their responsibility to test the skin of the patients before the surgery? No patient deserves a burn like this. If there was a method to test the skin, they probably should have used it,” Wilwara added.
This has also angered Kandy Sports Club who are known to take great care of their players. Sources close to the club claim that they are set to hold discussion with Nawaloka Hospital over this matter in the coming weeks, and if they are found wanting in possible medical negligence, a huge compensation may need to be paid.