Published On : Sat, Apr 26th, 2014

Dr Asha Pugalia denies negligence as reported in a section of media without verifying true facts

“No negligence at all was shown by the Pugalia Nursing Home in the case of the patient Tejaswini Thakur who was suffering from appendicitis. The media should have ascertained the facts about the case before going public,” asserted Dr Asha Pugalia.

Nagpur News.

Dr Asha Pugalia of Lakadganj-based Pugalia Nursing Home has denied any negligence by her hospital that could have cost a patient the life as is reported in a section of print and electronic media. “No negligence at all was shown by the Pugalia Nursing Home in the case of the patient Tejaswini Thakur who was suffering from appendicitis. The media should have ascertained the facts about the case before going public,” asserted Dr Asha Pugalia.

It may be recalled, a section of media had reported that a wrong report by a doctor almost jeopardized life of Tejaswini Thakur (28), resident of Pardi.  Media reported that Tejaswini was suffering from acute pain in stomach for the past many days. She went to Lakadganj-based Pugalia Nursing Home for treatment. After a thorough check-up, doctors at the hospital declared Tejaswini absolutely normal and administered a pain killer to her. However, when Tejaswini returned home, pain in her stomach again started to unbearable limits. Thereafter, the Thakur couple again went to Pugalia Hospital where a sonography of Tejaswini was done. Tejaswini was again sent to home after the sonography report revealed everything normal. But her intolerable pain continued in gaps.

Finally, Tejaswini decided to visit Radhakrishna Hospital in Wardhaman Nagar where a fresh sonography was done on her. Doctors at the Hospital said the sonography report has revealed that Tejaswini’s appendix has burst and spilled infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. The condition required emergency surgery and strong antibiotics.

Tejaswini alleged that during her stay in Pagalia Nursing Home for treatment of her pain she was administered 9 injections consecutively for her relief. She felt some relief after that but it was short lived. As soon as effect of the injections subsided, pain in her stomach reached to unbearable level.

The doctors treating Tejaswini at Radhakrishna Hospital said that a slight delay in surgery could have proved fatal for her and therefore an emergency operation was performed.

Allegations of patient baseless:

In an exclusive interview with Nagpur Today, Dr Asha Pugalia, while defending her line of treatment, explained the correct version. “Tejaswini Thakur had come to Pugalia Nursing Home and complained of severe pain in the abdomen to me on April 13, 2014.  I came to the Nursing Home, despite April 13 being a Sunday. I conducted a thorough examination of her abdomen and a preliminary sonography was also done. Nothing alarming was noticed in the abdominal area. Since the patient (Tejaswini Thakur) was complaining of severe pain in the abdomen, she was administered saline, pain-killers and antibiotics. By evening the pain had subsided and she was feeling completely well. At 5 pm, the patient and her father wanted to go home. The patient was not even willing to wait till 7 pm when the doctor usually comes for rounds. I had been the family doctor for many years. I have performed nearly 4-5 deliveries of the Thakur family. Many of the patient’s relatives too have undergone many surgeries in my nursing home,” claimed Dr Asha Pugalia.

Dr Pugalia further elaborated, “On Monday, April 14, 2014 the patient again came to the Nursing Home and complained of severe pain in the abdomen and vomiting. She was again admitted in the Nursing Home. Again by evening the patient’s pain had subsided and she felt relieved and insisted on returning home in spite of advice not to do so. I had asked Tejaswini to remain in the hospital for observation. However, on the insistence of the patient, I discharged her and allowed her to go home.”

“On April 15, 2014, the patient had come to the OPD and had insisted the nurse not to even write her name and that she had just come to meet the doctor. She went in and told me that she was feeling well and did not need any treatment. However on April 18, 2014 at 7 pm the brother of Tejaswini came and informed me that the patient was taken to Radhakrishna Hospital with severe abdominal pain. There the attending doctor had opined that the patient has ruptured appendix and the fluid had accumulated in the abdominal cavity and she has developed infection because of that. He advised an immediate surgery failing which it could lead to death of the patient. After the surgery, the relatives of the patient raised the issue with some media who created much hype. The patient’s relatives alleged that the doctor at Radhakrishna Hospital saved her life since delay in surgery could have proved fatal,” pointed out Dr Asha Pugalia.

Dr Pugalia told Nagpur Today that during initial investigation, cases like Appendicitis can never be detected. Since the patient is a female, there could be many causes of pain in the abdomen area. She expressed her dismay at the way the media had passed judgment on her without verifying the case and taking her version in the entire episode. She said that any doctor would not advise other diagnostic tests if the pain subsides. Dr Pugalia is MBBS, DGO, Consulting Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Laproscopist & Infertility Specialist.

Thereafter, Nagpur Today contacted former President of Indian Medical Association Dr Warsha Dhawale to ascertain and verify Dr Asha Pugalia’s version of treatment or any negligence was shown by the hospital. Dr Warsha Dhawale, defending Dr Asha Pugalia’s line of treatment, said that in the initial investigation and sonography, cases of appendicitis can never be detected. She claimed that diagnosis of appendicitis is purely clinical. The symptoms of appendicitis imitate many other ailments. If the patient was reacting to the treatment and the pain was subsiding, any doctor will allow the patient to go home. To add to that proper and longer period of observation was required to ascertain the cause of the pain. Many other diagnostic tests like blood, urine and ultra-sound could have helped in diagnosing the exact cause of the pain. However, the patient and her relatives were perpetually in the hurry to go home.

If the patient’s pain had subsided on two previous occasions, it becomes very difficult to diagnose appendicitis, said Dr Dhawale.

Dr Dhawale opined that appendicitis can be classified in three parts – 1) Mild, 2) Moderate and 3) Severe. Depending on the intensity of the pain, one can only assess and pass any diagnosis. So passing a judgment of the doctor and calling her as negligent is certainly not justified.