Row Over Dental Surgery Of HIV Patient At VIMSAR, Burla

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Sambalpur: A probe has been sought into the dental surgery on an HIV-infected patient at the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla in Sambalpur district.

The head of the dentistry department, Anup Satpathy, sought the probe a letter to the VIMSAR principal, Brajamohan Mishra.

Satpathy wrote that the assistant professor of dentistry, Prashant Kumar Swain, had performed an inter maxillary fixation (IMF) procedure on a patient on Monday. The patient was admitted to the male surgery ward on October 12 and he was brought to the Dental OPD by Swain for the minor surgery.

After the patient’s surgery, the dental extraction of another patient was also done at the same OT.

However, it later came to notice the patient, who was called from the male surgery ward, was HIV positive and the surgical procedure on him was conducted without following the standard protocols for treating such patients.

Stating that he has informed the matter to the VIMSAR superintendent, Prof Lal Mohan Nayak, Mishra said the department was closed for sterilisation for 24 hours and will function normally from Wednesday.

Refuting the allegations, Swain said he had followed all necessary protocols during the surgery as was aware that the patient was afflicted with HIV. He further said that the IMF of the patient was conducted at a sub minor operation theatre of the department, while the surgical dental extraction of another patient was conducted at a separate sub minor operation theatre of the department and separate instruments were used for the extraction.

Replying to the allegation against him by the HoD, Swain said he had informed the HoD that the patient was infected with HIV. “But the HoD asked me not to conduct the IMF surgery of the patient and discharge him,” he added.

“Has an HIV patient no right to undergo a surgery? An HIV patient survives with the blood or semen. In the absence of these two components, the patient cannot survive for even five minutes. Taking the condition of the patient into consideration, I had conducted the surgery on humanitarian ground,” Swain said.

Talking about the surgical procedure, he said the attendants and the sisters are not so fool that they will hand over the used surgical equipment to the doctor without thorough sterilisation.

Alleging that this is a well-orchestrated conspiracy against him, Swain said that an assistant professor, who is in next rank to him, has conspired against him in connivance with the HoD.

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