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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Probe ordered in death of unborn child due to negligence

Jasdeep Singh Malhotra , Hindustan Times   Jalandhar, July 11, 2013
First Published: 21:47 IST(11/7/2013) | Last Updated: 21:54 IST(11/7/2013)

While an inquiry panel recorded medical teams' statements in case of an unborn child's death on Wednesday due to medical negligence at two government health facilities, the Punjab State Women Commission on Thursday asked the principal secretary, health and family welfare department to submit a factual report into the incident within 15 days.

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Taking cognisance of an HT report, the department director Dr RC Nayyer on Thursday deputed a two member team headed by Dr HPS Bali, director, Employees State Insurance (ESI) Corporation to personally visit Jalandhar and probe reasons behind the tragedy.

Dr Gayatari posted at Jamsher primary health centre (PHC) in her statement before the panel said that Gurminder Kaur, a Pholriwal resident, was extended due pre-natal healthcare during nine months of pregnancy.

 "She was informed about high risk involved with her pregnancy, as fluid in the sack inside the uterus was comparatively less. A scan was conducted at Jalandhar civil hospital on June 25 to examine status of foetus and the report was satisfactory," she quipped.

On the night of July 2, Gurminder was examined and foetus' heartbeat was normal, she said. Later, she was shifted to the civil hospital in 108 ambulance service.

Renu Bala and Jyoti Bala, staff nurses on duty, prepared the file but did not inform Dr Varinder Kaur, gynaecologist, since the latter was in operation theatre and conducted surgical procedures on six expectant women to deliver their babies. "They could have informed me about the patient," Dr Varinder Kaur said.

The nurses, however, claimed that Gurminder was examined on admission and foetus heartbeat was normal. The affected family, however, refuted the claim, maintaining they were left in a lurch by the hospital staff, thus, forcing to leave for a private hospital in Jalandhar cantonment area.


Sources said that both the nurses were found to be at fault in not extending due care to the patient in labour. "Gurminder could have been shifted on the bed available in labour room instead of compelling her to sit on ground that too without any care," insiders said.

The statement of security guard also revealed that Gurminder left the civil hospital at around 3 am on cycle rickshaw. Statements of medical superintendent (MS) Dr Bhag Mal and civil surgeon (CS) Dr RL Bassan were also recorded. Sources revealed department is all set to take action against these nurses for dereliction in duty since precious time (two hours) was lost in starting Gurminder's treatment.

Director Nayyer said: "It's a serious matter. The erring staffers will be taken to task after receipt of the inquiry report, likely to be submitted tomorrow. Besides, serious lapses were noticed in the hospital's functioning, as only one gynaecologist was deputed on night duty despite having strength of six such doctors. There is need to revise duty roster so that none of the patients are deprived of due medical care after reaching the hospital," he said.

Meanwhile, women panel termed death of the unborn child as a shocking incident. "We need to counsel the health staffers to deal with patients with utmost care. The affected family met me here during an open court to lodge the complaint. The department's principal secretary has been asked to submit factual report in 15 days while recommendations to state government will be submitted after the report is received," she said.

The affected family, however, demanded strict action against the staff.

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