Wednesday, July 14, 2004

TT: More quackery

Have medical procedures in TT at your own risk.

Scott, 55, a security guard of Pleasantville, San Fernando said: "After the operation I started to feel needles and pins on my legs, now they have moved to the sole of my left foot, and it is getting worse so I am planning to apply for early retirement because I am not able to perform well on my job."

He had the operation on October 16, 2001 and when he was taken to the operating theatre he was placed on a bed "as I sat up a needle was chooked into my back by a doctor."

Scott said: "After the injection my head started moving from left to right and it continued that way for a long time, then the pain moved to my legs and has been so ever since."

A magnetic resonance scan taken in November 2002, of his cervical and lumbar spine showed that there were "moderately cervical spondylotic changes and grade 1 spondylolisthesis (spinal fusion).

Scott said he cannot take the pressure of constant pain any longer and has written the San Fernando General Hospital asking for an investigation into the operation and what injury might have been done to his spinal nerves.
In his complaint to the hospital, Scott wants to know why he was not consulted about the choice of anesthesia. He said he was told that before he was given the spinal injection the matter should have been discussed with him.

He said: "I was told at the hospital that the rule is when planned care includes surgical or invasive procedures, or anesthesia, a separate consent is needed from the patient. I was not told about this by anyone at the theatre and I did not sign a form authorising the doctor to give me a spinal injection."

Scott said if he was asked the question he would have opted for general anaesthetic.

He was advised that the Patients Charter of Rights and Obligations states, "You should not be subjected to any procedure without your voluntary, informed consent."

An official at the hospital confirmed that an investigation into Scott's complaint was being conducted. "It is unlikely that Scott's present illness has anything to do with the epidural he had before surgery."

But the official said: "However the decision to do the epidural should only be carried out after it was discussed with the patient." An epidural is an accepted form of anaesthetic worldwide, but should be used cautiously on patients, the Express was told.

Because of numerous complaints from the public, Prime Minister Patrick Manning has appointed a Commission of Enquiry to probe the health services in the country.


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