Delhi: Seven-month-old in need of surgery dies after being denied admission by major hospitals
A seven-month-old baby with a brain abscess -- a pocket of pus in her brain -- died after being refused admission by at least three prominent government-run hospitals in the national Capital.
Her parents moved the Delhi high court (HC) and filed a writ petition to get her admitted to Safdarjung Hospital on September 3, where she was operated upon on the same day, but unfortunately died hours later.
She was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital days after her parents ran from pillar to post to ensure proper medical treatment for her.
The matter is still pending in the court and the hospitals have been asked to respond about the reasons for their refusal of admission.
Initially, the baby was taken to the emergency department of Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital on August 17. She was suffering from fever, vomiting, seizures, and altered sensorium or an inability to think clearly.
A day later, the baby was referred to a higher centre for proper healthcare management.
She was admitted to Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar (BSA) Hospital at Rohini on August 18, where doctors gave her antibiotics, fluids, and anticonvulsants for the seizures.
The doctors suggested neurosurgery after they conducted an ultrasound of the brain. Her family was asked to approach hospitals such as Ram Manohar Lohia (RML), Kalawati Saran, and Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya for the surgery.
The parents approached RML, Safdarjung, GB Pant, and Kalawati Saran Hospitals, but were denied admission orally in all these healthcare facilities. The baby continued to remain admitted to BSA Hospital over the next three days without any treatment, despite the authorities pleading their helplessness to perform the surgery.
A computed tomography (CT) scan, which was done from a private diagnostic laboratory four days after the child was admitted to the BSA Hospital, showed that she had developed brain abscess.
BSA Hospital authorities decided to shift her to a better healthcare facility, as her condition had worsened. An ambulance was provided along with a resident doctor.
However, both RML and GB Pant hospital authorities denied her admission, and she was brought back to BSA Hospital.
Then, the parents moved the Delhi HC, which ensured her admission to Safdarjung Hospital on September 3. Though she was operated upon the same day, unfortunately she passed away following the surgical procedure.
Safdarjung Hospital authorities in their affidavit have maintained that they never refused admission to the patient.
The authorities at Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, which is one of the two biggest standalone paediatric hospitals in Delhi, claimed that they did not have the facility for paediatric neurosurgery.
RML Hospital authorities insisted that the baby was given “proper medical assistance by the attending staff” and was referred to paediatric neurosurgery emergency, where she not allegedly brought for admission.
Contrary to the RML Hospital’s assertion, the patient’s registration card showed “no bed is available” was the excuse offered by the former.
The court has directed RML Hospital authorities to file another affidavit to explain the discrepancy in their statement.