Srinagar: A day after social media highlighted “negligence” at GB Pant Hospital as causing the death of a newborn, the hospital administration and doctors on Tuesday flayed the online news as “misinformation”.
“It was simply misinformation which was spread by some social media enthusiasts after talking to the family members who are unaware about medical terminology and prognosis,” said Dr Kawarjeet Singh, Medical Superintendent of the hospital.
He said the photos posted of the infant on social media were genuine but the captions carried the wrong explanation.
“The information was unverified, which triggered a wilful online campaign against doctors and the health institution. Otherwise, the final diagnosis clearly indicated that baby was suffering from multiple ailments and a rare disorder called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) which had resulted in red spots and burn-like marks on her skin,” said Dr Kawarjeet Singh.
On Monday, photos of an infant girl went viral on social media claiming that she was “burnt to death” at the children’s hospital in Srinagar due to negligence of the staff who had placed a heater near her. People on Twitter and Facebook demanded strict action against the hospital staff. Some political leaders and social activists also lashed out at the hospital administration and doctors.
Head of the Pediatrics department, Dr Muzaffar Jan, said the baby was terminally ill due to multiple ailments, which had prompted Noora Hospital, a private healthcare institution, to shift her to GB Pant Hospital, which is a tertiary-care hospital.
“The baby was shifted from the private hospital on February 1 at about 10.30pm. She was on respiratory support and was directly admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at our hospital. She died on February 3 at 6:30pm after succumbing to her various ailments. The final diagnosis written on the case file clearly shows that she was suffering from Perinatal Asphyxia, Meconium Stained Amniotic Fluid (MSAF), Respiratory failure with right-sided Pneumothorax with Refractory shock, and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) which led to the discoloration on the baby’s limbs. Everything has been recorded as we have nothing to hide,” Dr Jan explained.
Dr Jan also refuted allegations that heat blowers and movable appliances were used in the NICU for heating purposes.
“There are no blowers in the critical areas. We maintained the temperature using ACs and baby warmers,” he said.
The HOD said the temperature in NICU was kept between 27 and 35 degrees Celsius, the preferable range for sick newborns.
“All the heating appliances like ACs and baby warmers are kept far from the cribs holding the babies. If a normal person stays for sometime in the NICU, he will feel warm and start sweating. There is no chance of using blowers in the ward,” Dr Jan said.
Dr Singh, the medical superintendent, said that two babies, including the one who died, were kept on the same crib.
“The baby’s right arm and left leg had clear discoloration. It suggests no heater or blower had been used, otherwise it would have given burn marks on limbs on the same side and both babies would have been affected,” he said.
However, following the complaint by the family, Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar has ordered an inquiry to ascertain the facts.
“We are holding two inquiries to bring out the facts. CCTV footage is also being taken out and examined. We will examine it in next two days,” the MS said.
Meanwhile, the family said they stand by their allegations that something wrong had happened to their baby at the hospital.
“Doctors panicked at the hospital when we told them about the burn marks. They started blaming each other. Otherwise, we are laymen and don’t know about the medical terminologies,” said the uncle of the deceased baby.