Probe ordered into death of week-old baby in Patiala

Two days after a week-old baby girl died at the Rajindra medical college and hospital here, the medical education and research department has ordered an inquiry into the matter.
Updated on May 25, 2015 10:47 PM IST
Copy Link | By, Patiala

Two days after a week-old baby girl died at the Rajindra medical college and hospital here, the medical education and research department has ordered an inquiry into the matter.

Husan Lal, secretary of the department, has directed the director, research and medical education (DRME), to seek a detailed report from the principal of the government medical college, KD Singh, after conducting a detailed inquiry into the matter.

Notably, BJP state secretary Gurtej Singh Dhillon had complained that a week-old girl infant died due to alleged negligence on the part of doctors at the hospital, who failed to provide emergency facility to her.

Born two months before delivery date, the infant was suffering from intestine and respiratory failure. She died on the night of May 23.In his representation to the secretary on Monday, Dhillon accused senior doctor Harshinder Kaur, who was ex-deputy medical superintendent of the hospital, of remaining absent from the duty at paediatrics department, and not providing ventilator facilities to the victim.

"Moreover, with a view to concealing their negligence, the doctors tampered with the records of treatment administrated to the deceased infant at the hospital", Dhillon said. Meanwhile, Husan Lal said that on the basis of Dhillon's representation, an inquiry had been ordered to find out what actually happened in the hospital.

"The allegations related to the absence of a senior doctor from the hospital will be thoroughly investigated. Strict action will be taken against the doctors if any laxity is found on their part", he said.

However, Harshinder refuted the allegations against her and said that the parents of the infant refused to take her to PGI, Chandigarh, even after they were informed about the serious condition of the child.

"The father of the infant had refused treatment being given to his daughter. Moreover, even after admission, we narrated bleak chances of the infant's survival, but they insisted on keeping her in the emergency ward of the paediatrics department", she claimed.

Harshinder added that she was on duty till 2pm on May 23, and thereafter the senior doctors on duty are available on emergency call only. No ventilator facility in paediatrics department

Despite repeated presentations, the government has failed to provide a ventilator facility in the critical wards like njeo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) and the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in the paediatrics department. In the absence of this life-saving equipment, the serious patients were either shifted to ICUs of other departments, or referred to other hospitals.

"How can we provide the ventilator facility when there is no such facility in the department?" Harshinder said. "Ignoring the critical condition of the infant, it was the same BJP leader who asked the infant's parents not to shift her from to Rajindra hospital to the PGI", she alleged.


    Navrajdeep Singh is a senior staff correspondent. He covers agriculture, crime, local bodies, health and education in the Patiala district of Punjab.

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