In a scene straight out of a Bollywood comedy, two newborns got swapped by mistake at the Mother-Child Hospital, attached to Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, here on Friday.
Similar-sounding names of the mothers (Anita and Sunita) led to confusion and chaos. In another twist, a family alleged that they were first handed over a male child, and were later told that a baby girl had been born. They demanded an inquiry into the matter, and a DNA test to confirm the boy’s parentage.
As per the information given by the hospital and staff members on duty, Anita, wife of Ajay, a resident of Chet Singh Nagar gave birth to a male child via caesarean section at 11:29am. At 11:40am, Sunita, wife of Harvinder Kumar, a resident of Bhadur Ke Road, gave birth to a female child, also via cesarean section. Both cases were handled by gynaecologist Dr Manjeet Bajwa and paediatrician Dr Rashmi Bedi.
The Class-4 employees took Anita’s male child, and gave a call to the father or relative of the child. But on listening the call, Sunita’s husband Harvinder came and took the male child after signing on Anita’s form.
After that when doctors called the relatives of Sunita, Anita’s sister, whose name was also Sunita, came there, and she was handed over Sunita’s (wife of Harvinder) female child. But when Anita said that she gave birth to a male child, the whole case came to the fore.
The on duty Class-4 employees, Karamdeep and Sunil, said, “As we don’t know the relatives by face, we gave them a call by mother’s name and handed over the child after getting the form signed. When we called for Anita’s relative, then Sunita’s husband Harvinder came and took the male child and also signed on the file.”
Anita said, “Doctor told me that I gave birth to a boy, but my sister was handed over a girl child. When I made it clear with the doctor, they accepted the mistake, but the other family was denying the fact.”
Meanwhile, Sunita’s husband Harvinder Kumar said, “I was called and only then I went. They handed me a male child and asked me to sign the file. Later, they said that they had given me the wrong child and my wife gave birth to a female child. How could I believe that they are not doing something wrong, and how could they hand over someone else’s child to me.”
Senior medical officer Dr Parvinderpal Singh Sidhu, Dr Rajinder Gulati and other doctors concerned reached the spot. Rogi Kalyan Samiti member Shiv Ram Saroye and police also reached the hospital.
Later, after talks, Sunita’s family agreed to take the female child with them, but on a condition that DNA test will be conducted of both children, and if the male child belongs to them, they will be given their child.
Hansraj, father-in-law of Sunita, said, “We don’t know whose mistake it this. But it is not good to give one child at first and then say, sorry it’s not yours. So, we want a proper DNA test should be conducted to find the truth.”
SMO Dr Parvinderpal Singh Sidhu said, “The incident happened due to human error and not with a malafide intention. As per the doctors and the file, male child belonged to Anita and female child to Sunita, but by mistake Sunita’s husband took the male child and also signed on Anita’s file. We have CCTV’s installed outside operation theatre and we will check the footage, too.”
“On request of the relatives of Sunita, we will send the report to conduct DNA test. But, meanwhile both the sides agreed to take infants with them. Besides, a six-member inquiry committee has also been formed to further investigate the matter,” Dr Sidhu said.