Unethical practice by lifeline hospital Chennai
My name is Birju Patel; I am a 32 year old paraplegic. A paraplegic is a person whose lower limbs have been paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury or a spinal cord ailment. Since December 2002 I have been in a wheel chair because of a car accident that happened in
In January of 2007 I got in touch with Dr. Ravi Kumar of Lifeline hospital, Chennai http://www.lifeline-hospital.com/ This man said that their stem cell programmed showed great promise. He even claimed that of 11 patients form the pilot study, two had stated to walk again.
So on the 5th of February I received an email where he has clearly mentioned that 2 of 11 patients are walking. I still have the copy in my yahoo inbox
Mon, 5 Feb 2007 01:24:29 +0000 (GMT)
Re: Medical Reports of Birju Patel
Dear Mr. Patel,
Of our 11 Patients with Spinal Cord injury 2 patients
have started to walk in the last 2 months. But they
may improve further in the next 2-3 months. As the
Therapy was started only in November These are early
days.Also no body had any side effects or infecion.
Titanium Implants are no problem- Most of the patients
had some spinal fixation during surgery.
Stem cell therapy is a New therapy in the realm of
latest innovations in the field of Medicine. In strict
Medicolegal terms - it is in a stage of "CLINICAL
STUDY " only . US FDA has not started looking at it as
is trying it out. In USA ICMR (Indian India
Council of Medical research)has provisionally approved
Adult Stem cell Therapy NOT EMBRYONIC therapy.
Insurance does not cover it in India- Also nobody has
applied for it. That will take atleast 5 years and
hundreds of case studies worldwide.
Also the cost of RX is 50-60000 Rs which is nominal.
I will try to send phone numbers of other patients.
The yield of stem cells are about 750-1500 Million
cells and actually that is only 1% of the Total cells
in 100 ml of blood sample we take out from the
No side effects have been noticed till now and none
expected ,except in very few cases - Mild fever for
I will also highlight that in case you have any
doubts of efficacy etc of the treatment you may wait
for 1-2 years for full results to be out as these are
VERY EARLY DAYS for us to comment further and we are
observing final results in the majority of patients.
DR R.RAVI KUMAR
I was very excited after receiving this email, and I was waiting for Dr. Ravi to send me the numbers of the patients that were walking after the treatment. On the 8th of February of 2007 I received an email from Dr. Ravi Kumar with the numbers of both the patients
Thu, 8 Feb 2007 01:42:10 +0000 (GMT)
Re: Medical Reports of Birju Patel
I am giving the numbers of 2 of our patients whose
numbers are available with us:
1. Mr Srinivas ,Chennai city:09840940283
2. Mr Akbar Ali ,Village in Cuddalore Distt Tamil
You may contact them in person.
Mr Srinivas had started treatment 3 months back and is
doing very well.
Akbar Ali is a more Complicated case ,he started
treatment in December.
Dr RAVI KUMAR
This email was a moral boost for me, I was excited that I was going to speak to two people that have improved so much after the treatment. First I called Ali Akbar, but couldn’t communicate much with him because he only spoke Tamil. Then I called Mr. Srinivas who spoke Hindi as well as English too, it was a real delight talking to him because he had the same injury level as mine “thoracic 3”. I spoke to him twice and made up my mind that this place will definitely heal me for sure. After the fantastic telephonic conversation I went to Chennai and underwent the stem cell procedure. The detail on my procedure is on the following link.
A while back I spoke to Mr. Suresh Raj who is a coordinator of the stem cell department in lifeline hospital. Some thing was very fishy; the voices of Mr. Srinivas and Mr. Suresh seemed very similar. So I went to the website http://www.stemcell-india.com/ and checked the Contact us section http://www.stemcell-india.com/contact.htm . I was so hurt to see the Mr. Suresh’s number on this page and Mr. Srinivas’s number on the above email was the same 09840940283. One can check this link and the email that I have pasted on this article. The hospital’s website has hidden the contact page, but the link still works. I have even copied that page http://picasaweb.google.com/patelville/KOTAKAL2004/photo#5123834435588273282 Please magnify this photo to see the contents.
I was furious and in my anger I wrote an email to Dr. Ravi Kumar. I have everything in my various emails as evidence. I will give a brief note on the multiple emails that were exchanged on this matter.
- First, I just questioned about Mr. Srinivas’s absence in the media. I told him that it was hard to digest that his name was not mentioned in spite of being healed. When Ali Akbar was being publicized so much, there was no mention of Mr. Srinivas.
Dr. Ravi replied that they couldn’t contact Mr. Srinvas because he when back to a rural part of Tamilnadu and was hard to locate him. “In his previous email he mentioned Mr. Srinivas from Chennai”
- I confronted him that I know that Mr. Suresh was the one the person that talked to me on the phone as Mr. Srinivas. I even told him that both the numbers were same.
Dr. Ravikumar replied that I might have spoken to him when he was in the hospital. He said most of the patients were poor, so they used the hospital phone.
- I told Dr. Ravi that I spoke to Mr. Srinavas twice, first time he was at home and the second time he was at his business.
Dr. Ravi Kumar replied that initially those patients were given mobile phone to use, so that they could locate them easily.
All these exchanges of information were done during a course of a week, Dr Ravi lied so much to hide the unethical step that he and lifeline hospital took to lure me into taking this treatment. If Mr. Srinivas was Chennai then why did he go to the rural area? Why would a man leave his business and go away when he can walk again. It is hard to digest that the hospital doesn’t have records of a person that was miraculously healed by their cutting edge medical treatment. Why are they hiding the contact us page from their website?
I feel that I took a great risk with my life by undertaking this treatment. Their was a time when doctors were considered be gods on earth that would help people by fighting their sufferings. My main question is where is that term “medical ethics” gone, all the doctors take an oath that they would never lie or cheat a patient. I am lucky that I didn’t get any adverse effects from this treatment. I just want these people to stop scamming people like this; I know that many people have borrowed money to take such treatments. I still have a lot of faith in stem cell treatment, and I will still try to find a treatment that would give me a chance to heal.