29 maternal deaths in 7 months, no post mortem by health dept in Jalandhar | punjab$jalandhar | Hindustan Times
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29 maternal deaths in 7 months, no post mortem by health dept in Jalandhar

punjab Updated: Nov 23, 2016 14:03 IST
Jatinder Kohli
maternal deaths

The civil surgeon office in Jalandhar. (HT Photo)

In the past seven months 29 maternal deaths have been recorded in the district. The health department has allegedly detected the same reason (in keeping with the history of the patient) citing cause of deaths without even conducting post mortem. 

As per the reports gathered from the department, haemorrhage, post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) (bleeding during, before and after childbirth), acute renal failure, multi organ failure, septicemia and cardiac arrest, have been identified as the main reasons behind the maternal mortalities.

So far six deaths in April, three in May and June, two in August, seven in September, five in October have been reported. In the month of November only, till date, three mortalities have been registered.

The district maternal death review committee is analysing the present situation to know the reasons behind the deaths in order to frame preventive policies. Despite preventive suggestions, there is rise in such cases. 

Further, the civil surgeon who heads the committee, through the auxiliary nurse midwife (ANMs) has to call two relatives of the deceased to attend the maternal death review meeting. But, most of the times, the kin do not attend the meeting hence the officials discuss the reasons with the surgeon. 

Surinder Saini, the member of district health society alleged that he has raised the issue many times before deputy commissioner to conduct post mortem of such deaths. 

He alleged, “The committee does eyewash by just holding discussions without knowing the exact cause of deaths from the autopsy.” 

Civil surgeon Dr Rajiv Bhalla said, “PPH is the major cause of deaths and the post mortem is done only when someone from victim’s family asks for it alleging negligence.”  He also added that after discussions in the meeting, the suggestions are implemented to avoid future deaths. 

Moreover, 40 % pregnant women have been identified as high-risk cases in the district. Mostly these women are suffering from iron deficiency and high blood pressure. Similar reasons have been given for previous deaths despite several programmes being started to keep pregnant women healthy for safe deliveries. 

This came to light in the special camps being held under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) national programme.

As a part of the PMSMA, every 9th of the month, the camps are being organised specially for the pregnant women in all the government hospitals in the district.