Medical Negligence? Husband wants to know cause of death of his young wife

The inquiry suggests that the set transfusion protocols were not followed at the hospital, and “resuscitation measures in labour room could have been more prompt and more effective.”

N BHAT
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 15 2017 11:43PM | Updated Date: Aug 15 2017 11:47PM
Medical Negligence? Husband wants to know cause of death of his young wifeFile Photo

Tariq Iqbal of Bemina here is running from pillar to post to know the cause of the death of his young wife, who according to him died due to alleged medical negligence by doctors of LD Hospital in June.

It is a pathetic tale of a struggle that dejected Iqbal is fighting alone to know why his young wife, a teacher by profession, died after delivering a healthy baby boy.

Iqbal on June 12, 2017, filed an RTI application requesting principal GMC to provide him with “all the documents submitted by the patient on the date of admission into LD hospital; all the documents/prescriptions/advices given by the doctors of LD hospital to the patient during her stay in the hospital; copy of the discharge letter forwarded by the hospital to SKIMS, Soura, on the date she was shifted by LD hospital authorities to SKIMS.”

Two days earlier, the brother of the deceased had also filed an application requesting the LD hospital authorities to provide him with “the list of Haematologists working in the LD hospital along with their names and qualifications; the duty chart of the Haematologists who were on duty on June 2 at 8 AM (the time when the deceased was operated at the hospital).” The applicant requested the LD authorities to let him know if any of the Haematologists was on duty on the said date in the labour room of the hospital.

Both the applications have gone unheard and unanswered compelling the applicants to file appeals on 7th August 2017 before the principal GMC. Yet in total disregard of the J&K RTI Act, no information has been provided to them so far.

Iqbal believes his wife, mother of two small kids including the infant she delivered at LD hospital on 2nd June, died due to medical negligence. “Had it not been so, the principal/dean, GMC won’t order an inquiry into the issue,” he says.

Curiously, the inquiry that was concluded on 19th June inter alia underlines: “Set transfusion protocols not followed; written consent for transfusion not taken; transfusion started by nursing orderly without information of doctor on duty; no order for transfusion on ticket; proper receipt with signature of doctor on duty not taken on blood form.”

The inquiry suggests that the set transfusion protocols were not followed at the hospital, and “resuscitation measures in labour room could have been more prompt and more effective.”

Iqbal says even after concluding the inquiry, no action has followed. “I believe the inquiry was conducted by the doctors of the erring LD hospital itself, just to evade the pressure. It was mere eyewash as no action has followed,” he says.

Shaheena, 34, was admitted to LD hospital in a normal state on May 31. During the course of regular medical investigation, Iqbal says, it was found that Shaheena had a low blood platelet count of 56,000 on analyzer and 72,000 (manual platelet count), which has been confirmed by the investigation report as quoted in the inquiry report. 

“At 8 a.m on June 2, the date fixed for her surgery, Shaheena was injected platelets which the doctors had already advised to her a day before,” Iqbal said.

Hafeeza Bano, mother of the deceased said, “A male paramedical staff member, probably from the hospital’s blood bank, came in the morning and administered two packets of platelets. Shaheena’s condition immediately started to worsen. She started shivering and developed intense pain in her back,” Hafeeza, who accompanied her daughter at the moment, said.

Hafeeza says that Shaheena’s body adversely reacted to the platelet dose, which the family alleges was administered in absence of a doctor. “As her condition worsened, the doctors rushed in and gave her multiple injections. Seeing her deteriorating state, they then immediately shifted her to the emergency theatre where she was operated upon to deliver the baby. Around one and a half hours after we were handed over the baby and told that Shaheena was still unconscious and her bleeding was not stopping.”

“An hour later we were told that they needed to re-operate her in order to remove the uterus to stop her losing her blood,” Iqbal recalls, adding that one hour later he was asked to come in and see the patient. “That time she was in ICU on life support. I could see blood oozing out of her,” he says, adding that the doctors told them Shaheena’s condition was critical and it was better to take her to SMHS or SKIMS.

“When we were moving Shaheena towards the ambulance, one of the senior doctors told me that she won’t survive,” he says. The patient finally died at SKIMS on 6th June 2017.

Shaheena’s first child is five year old Madeeha Iqbal. She asks for her mother every morning and evening to his father. “The newly born baby is over 2 months old. Madeeha does not leave him from her lap while she asks me where the mother has gone?” Iqbal says.

 

OFFICIAL VERSION:

Medical superintendent Lal Ded Hospital Dr Nazir Ahmed Malik said the inquiry has been concluded and report submitted by the HoD concerned to principal/dean GMC. “However, so far we have not received any instruction from that end,” he said.

Repeated attempts to contact principal/dean GMC proved futile as her mobile phone was switched off.