Bengaluru: An 18-year-old Yemeni girl, who was undergoing treatment for end-stage kidney failure at Fortis Hospital in Bengaluru, has lost her hearing in both ears because of medical negligence of her nephrologist Dr Rajanna Sreedhara, her relatives alleged. They charged that the doctor continued the girl on a high dosage of antibiotics despite audiometric tests showing signs of profound hearing loss during treatment.
The distraught father of the victim, Abdullah, has flown his daughter Anwer Abdullah to Egypt for treatment after the family lost hopes with doctors here. Victim’s brother Saeed Abdullah brought the incident to the notice of the Yemeni embassy in Mumbai and diplomatic officials have written to the hospital accusing the doctor of medical negligence.
Mr Abdullah, his ailing daughter Anwer, her mother Huda Mohammad, sister Sheika Abdullah and brother Saeed came to India on April 25 with the hope of finding at least one donor match within the family as all of them were ready to donate their one kidney to save the 18-year-old girl.
Anwer was in high school in Hadramout in Yemen when she suddenly developed fever. She was later diagnosed with kidney failure. "We were advised that we would get quality treatment and a kidney transplant for Anwer in Bengaluru as it has good hospitals and the cost of treatment is reasonable," said Saeed, Anwer’s brother. The family then sold a part of their property in Hadramout where Abdullah worked as a cab driver and came to Bengaluru.
"Anwer was initially undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital on Bannerghatta Road, but as her condition did not improve and I noticed that their dialysis methods were crude and they did not even change the filer in the dialysis machine, we felt that we should shift her to Fortis for dialysis," Saeed said.
"On May 26, Anwer was taken to Fortis Hospital on Bannerghatta Road where she was put on dialysis. Consultant nephrologist Dr Rajanna Sreedhara attended to her and as there was no change in her condition for a week, the doctor doubled the dosage of the antibiotic, Amikacin," he said.
"While Apollo doctor had prescribed Amikacin dosage of 250 mg, Dr Sreedhara made it 500 mg. Anwer took the medication for over a month after which she started developing hearing impairment, for which audiometric tests were done multiple times. Anwer lost her hearing completely on August 29 as indicated in the audiometric test done at Fortis," he said.
"We noticed from the case papers submitted to us that the first audiometry done on June 20, 2016 showed that both ears were normal," read a communication from the embassy to the hospital.
"The patient started losing her hearing and she asked the doctor who advised her for audiometry test on August 29. It showed hearing loss in both ears, but he continued the same medication and did not take any preventive measure or change the medication. The third audiometry test was done on September 8 which showed complete loss of hearing. So from all of this, we know that the doctor failed to provide proper measures to prevent such an event. We kindly request you to treat our patient in gaining back her hearing as it’s your responsibility that caused her hearing loss," read the letter from the Consulate General of The Republic of Yemen addressed to the medical director, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru.
"When we sought an explanation from Dr Sreedhara, he said at least we could save her life. Anwer keeps crying as life has become difficult for her with the kidney failure and now the hearing loss. Her hearing has not improved even with hearing-aids," Saeed said.
Family members approached the JP Nagar police and filed a complaint, but the police registered only a noncognisable report. The family is now lodging complaints with the Karnataka Medical Council, Indian Medical Association and Indian Medical Council. They are also contemplating filing a case with consumer grievance court for adequate compensation.