Nearly two months after three pregnant women died over three consecutive days (November 30, December 1 and December 2) at the Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) complex on the premises of the Ludhiana civil hospital, the state health department’s inquiry report has failed to list the cause of the deaths. The report has also steered clear of fixing responsibility on any doctor or staff of the hospital.
Relatives of the women had alleged that the deaths were caused due to the negligence of the staff and the doctors as proper medicines and injections were mot administered.
The report — submitted by a panel of three senior doctors to health and family welfare principal secretary Vini Mahajan — has suggested that government hospitals across the state follow a standard procedure in the treatment of pregnant women.
“The report has been forwarded to the health director to take preventive measures so that such deaths are avoided. The report suggests measures to improve health services after an exhaustive study of MCH, Ludhiana. As per the report, there was no negligence from doctors,” said Mahajan.
Some of the suggestions listed in the report are high-quality medicines to be used during pregnancy and post-operative procedures; increased frequency of check-ups of pregnant women; increased sanitation at maternity wards and immediate referral to bigger hospitals in case of deterioration in condition. Interestingly, after the deaths, officials had sent 13 samples of almost all medicines, used earlier at the hospital, for lab tests to Chandigarh. The reports that were made available suggested that the drug was of poor quality. Questions were raised only on oxytocin — used to increase the labour pain among pregnant women.
A woman, Sujata (22), had died on November 30 at the Christian Medical College and Hospital after she was referred to it from the MCH due to her deteriorating condition. Another woman, Hira Moti, had died on December 1. Her death sparked a protest by her family. Next day, another woman, Amrita (23) too had lost her life.