Director health orders enquiry
Budgam: A 35-year-old woman, Afroza, died after giving birth at district hospital in Budgam on the night intervening April 27 and 28. Family alleges that the mother died of an anaesthesia overdose, while the doctors say that she suffered pulmonary edema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs, during the surgery.
Afroza was admitted to the hospital on the morning of April 27 and taken to surgery after 13 hours of labour, but could not be fully resuscitated, the doctors said, adding that lack of life support at the hospital proved fatal for the patient. The baby, however, survived the surgery.
Director health has formed a committee to investigate the cause of death and to ascertain whether the patient died at the district hospital or at the SMHS hospital where she was taken for ventilator support.
“A committee consisting Dr Aabida and Dr Mehmooda Kar is carrying out an investigation,” Chief Medical Officer Budgam, G M Dar, told Kashmir Reader. When asked if the woman died at the district hospital, Dar affirmed, contradicting the medical superintendent of the hospital; the latter says that the woman died at the SHMS hospital.
Doctors say that the mother suffered “foetal distress” during labour and had to be operated upon. “The patient was taken to surgery, which went well. However, she suffered pulmonary edema during the surgery. We drained water from her lungs and felt that the patient was recovering – she showed her tongue in response to doctors’ instruction which showed she was recovering,” said Dr Deeba, the medical superintendent at Budgam’s district hospital. With oxygen support, she added, that the patient maintained a 100 percent heart beat, but the heart rate deteriorated when oxygen supply was taken off and the patient was taken out of the theatre.
“We tried to revive her by hand pumping because the district hospital has no ventilator,” Deeba said. “After repeated attempts by all concerned in the heath department, we were able to confirm availability of a ventilator at SMHS hospital. The patient was rushed there, but she could not survive”.
Family’s suspicion grew after Afroza, a resident of Chairhar Beerwah in Budgam, was taken to the operation theatre and was brought out in an unconscious state. “She died soon after the surgery, but doctors didn’t tell us. Shifting to SMHS was a mere drama,” said Afroza’s husband, Ab Rahman Parray. He alleged that the doctors did not inform the family regarding Afroza’s condition for three hours.
“It is a case of medical negligence. The hospital does not have trained professionals to handle such cases,” the distressed husband alleged. “She died soon after the surgery but doctors didn’t tell us and deceived us by saying she is alive. Shifting to SMHS was a mere drama”.
Dismissing the allegations, Deeba said that the doctors made all efforts to save Afroza’s life. “Unfortunately, there is no intensive care unit and there was no ventilator in the hospital, which led us to refer the patient to SMHS where she later died”.
Dar, the chief medical officer, however, said that the hospital has a ventilator of its own, adding that it was now the job of the committee to find out the exact details.