A lung-cancer patient died hours after he was operated upon during a live surgery workshop at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on July 31. The procedure was visible to doctors at Manekshaw Centre – a venue where the procedure was telecast live.
Shobh Ram, 62, was referred to AIIMS from GB Pant Hospital on July 13, according to relatives of the patient. On July 31, Ram was a part of the live surgery.
Initially, doctors tried laproscopic surgery on the patient. However, the patient suffered from severe bleeding during the procedure. Ram was suffering from lung cancer and liver cirrhosis.
The gastroenterology team was headed by a doctor from Japan. “Even though the patient was bleeding, doctors continued with the procedure for around four hours. It was only later that they decided to go for an open surgery. The doctors should have been more prompt in dealing with the case,” said a relative of the patient. With an interactive session, the question and answer rounds also continued.
The patient was a resident of Kartar Nagar and was the sole breadwinner of the family, said relatives. While patients claimed doctors’ negligence, AIIMS authorities said the interactive session is a part of live workshop procedures and did not affect the operation.
Operating the patient was the only option available to treat him, said doctors.
“When the laproscopic surgery did not work out, doctors decided to opt for open surgery. There was no delay due to the interactive session. This is a practice across the world and does not influence the procedure. It will not be possible to train doctors with new techniques if they do not watch these procedures,” said Dr Neerja Bhatla, Chairperson, Media and Protocol Division, AIIMS.
“The patient was later shifted to the intensive care unit and he died at 11.30 pm,” Bhatla added. The surgery lasted for around nine hours. The patient who was put on general anaesthesia before the surgery died around two hours after the procedure, according to AIIMS.
In a live surgery, there are chances that a doctor might be camera conscious which might have implications on the surgery. However, no direct link can be established between the live procedure and its outcome in a high-risk patient, according to experts.
“There was 5-10 per cent chances of mortality in this patient. The same risk factors in the procedure would have been come up if the procedure was not a part of the live workshop,” said Dr Bhatla.