Kolkata hospital loses youth's fingertip in WC frenzy

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A 28-year-old chemical engineer met with an accident near his office in Howrah and had his fingertip severed by half-an-inch, on Wednesday.

His fingertip went missing at a private hospital he was admitted to, in south Kolkata.

The victim’s wife lodged a police complaint alleging that the hospital’s employees were busy watching the World Cup semi-final and failed to preserve the finger which was to be stitched back on Thursday, according to a Times of India report.

She told ToI that she had deposited the severed finger at the emergency ward. “This was due to sheer negligence on the part of the hospital. I seek strong action against those responsible,” Chayanika, the wife, told ToI.

The hospital, although, claimed that the fingertip was unfit for being stitched back. They also said that an investigation was underway. 

Nilotpal Chakraborty, the victim, was taken to the operation theatre around 10 am. While the doctors waited, the severed part could not be traced. At 12.30 pm, the hospital declared that the part had gone missing, ToI reported.

A severed limb can be joined back if it is preserved in ice in a clean polythene bag, the doctors said. For limbs involving a huge amount of muscles, tissues and vessels, the surgery should be done within six hours for best results. For a small portion like the tip of the finger, this duration may be stretched to 24 hours.

“I can understand the patient’s plight. Had the finger reached the OT and had we discarded it as not joinable, it could have been more acceptable to them,” said Golash. “However, the patient’s finger was severed from the base of the nail, so it has not lost any function,” he added.

After a complaint was registered, the police have asked the hospital to chare the CCTV footage before registering an FIR.

"We have asked the hospital to share CCTV footage to conduct a preliminary probe before taking a call on whether to treat the complaint as an FIR," an Alipore police station officer told the daily.

The hospital, meanwhile, has said they were looking into the matter and added that the patient’s condition is stable.

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