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Woman’s death sparks row

A homeopath died two days after delivering her child, allegedly because of medical negligence, her family has said, reports Rhythma Kaul.

delhi Updated: May 20, 2009 00:23 IST
Rhythma Kaul

A homeopath died two days after delivering her child, allegedly because of medical negligence, her family has said.

Nitika Manchanda (30) was declared dead at half past twelve in the afternoon of May 5 at Max Healthcare, Pitampura, within hours of complaining of a severe backache. The cause of death was put down as “acute circulatory failure”.

The family immediately lodged an FIR at Saraswati Vihar police station, alleging negligence by the hospital staff as cause of death.

Nitika, who worked as an assistant manager with Genpact, had delivered a baby boy through caesarean section on May 3. Hospital reports with the family show normal post-operative evaluation.

The patient had no medical history or abnormality. Her last ultrasound, on April 25, was normal.

“We can’t get our daughter back, but we don’t want anyone else to go through the same fate, that’s why we want to caution people,” said SP Manchanda, Nitika’s father.

The hospital management, however, dismissed the allegations. “Since it is a medico-legal case, we can’t comment on it. All I can say is that this certainly is not a case of medical negligence. And the post-mortem report will conclusively state that,” said Dr D P Saraswat, regional director (north), Max Healthcare.

According to the death summary submitted by consulting gynaecologist Dr Alka Gupta, Nitika complained of backache on the morning of May 5, and despite all resuscitative procedures, she could not be revived.

According to her family, Nitika complained of backache at 10 pm on May 4.

The family has alleged no senior doctor was present for her diagnosis and treatment. She was prescribed painkillers and sedatives over telephone. By 2 am, Nitika had developed tenderness in the lower back, but a senior physician was not informed till 7 am on May 5.

The handwritten nurses’ daily assessment — a copy of which is with HT — submitted by the attending nurse on the the night of May 4 corroborates the family’s allegation.

“Despite her visibly serious condition — severe pain, dilated pupils and no response to verbal commands — hospital staff took 45 minutes to shift her to post-operative care,” said Manchanda.