Sri Lanka is the only country where Surgical Operation Theatres are functioning without adhering to the terms and conditions on Surgical Operation Theatre Safety recommended by the World Health Organization(WHO), Consultant Surgeon of the Galle Karapitiya Teaching Hospital Dr. Rajitha Abewickrama told the Daily News.
Dr. Abeywickrama had to undergo a one and half-hour operation for a compound fracture on his big toe as the operation theatre table fell on his foot while he was performing a large intestine operation on a female patient.
Dr. Abeywickrama commenting on the incident said that he was the on-call doctor at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital Emergency Trauma Unit attached to the University Surgical Unit and on Wednesday (9) while he was engaged in an operation at the surgical operation theatre, the table suddenly crashed crushing his toe bone in the process.
“I believe, this is supposedly the first ever such casualty reported in the world’s health history so far,”he said.
“I searched over the Internet and found that no such incident had occurred in which a medical staffer faced an accident of this nature in an operation theatre during a surgical operation process,” Dr. Abeywickrama said.
“Not only at the Karapitiya Hospital, but at all other health institutions throughout Sri Lanka, theatre safety is in a very poor condition. The World Health Organization has introduced a scientific methodology for surgical operation theatre safety. However, proper measures for theatre safety is properly maintained in developed country only,” he added.
“Most medical staff in operation theatres in the country are not properly trained in operating surgery instruments and appliances. Some hospital employees attached to theatres do not know how to handle surgical equipment properly. Many of the implements, specifically theatre tables in operation theatres are electric or hydraulic operated. Our staff do not know how to manipulate such apparatus. As such the authorities should pay special attention to theatre safety,” he stressed
Explaining the incident, Dr.Abeywickrama said that on Wednesday he had to perform three planned operations at the Emergency Trauma Unit Theatre.
“I was performing the last operation when suddenly the operating table crashed with the patient on to my big toe. The table is very heavy. However, I managed to extract my big toe which was badly injured. The terminal phalanx was completely crushed. It was during the last stage of the operation and my assistant medical staff had to finish the operation. No obstruction was caused to the operation on the patient. The patient is now in stable condition,” Dr. Abeywickrama said.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Satish Wijemanna performed plastic surgery on my injured toe. I am now staying at the Consultant’s Lounge. However, I have managed to conduct my usual clinics.
Moreover, the hospital sources revealed that the hospital authorities had not paid serious attention to the incident and they are still to initiate a preliminary inquiry into the accident.
Hospital Director Jayampathi Senanayake told the media that this incident was a minor occurrence.