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Hospital shows CCTV footage to the Press

Authorities at the Government Medical Specialty Hospital,Sector 16,organised a press conference on Friday where they tried to defend their staff on duty on the fateful day when a Patiala woman delivered and lost her child right outside the maternity ward.

Written by JYOTSNA JALALI | Chandigarh |
July 24, 2010 5:03:00 am

Newborn’s Death : Authorities rule out medical negligence,24-minute CCTV footage contradicts claim

Authorities at the Government Medical Specialty Hospital (GMSH),Sector 16,organised a press conference on Friday where they tried to defend their staff on duty on the fateful day when a Patiala woman delivered and lost her child right outside the maternity ward. The authorities showed 24 minutes of CCTV footage of Bulbul right from the time she entered the Gynaecology ward till the time she delivered the child.

A room full of journalists watched in shock as the sequence of events unfolded on the screen. At the end of it,Medical Superintendent Dr Rajiv Vadera said: “I cannot conclude if there was any medical negligence till the time I do not see the postmortem report. The basic issue was that the couple could not express themselves as they were not educated.” He,however,had no answer when questioned whether or not there was a possibility of the child dying in the womb in those 24 minutes when the couple kept moving around seeking medical assistance,should the postmortem report say the child was stillborn.

Authorities speak
If Bulbul was in pain why didn’t any of the staff members on duty help her get a chair,a wheel chair or a stretcher?

If Bulbul was in pain,her husband should have grabbed a trolley or a wheelchair stationed right outside the department at the entry.

Dr Rajeev Vadera,medical superintendent,GMSH

Note: According to hospital authorities,the department has just two wheelchairs and both were busy at that time. The couple was guided by the attendants towards the waiting ward.

Twice the couple went to the OPD where doctors were sitting but came out of the room in less than a minute. Why couldn’t any of the staff offer help looking at Bulbul’s condition?
Most of the women in the ward who are at an advanced stage of pregnancy move around taking support or lean on others like Bulbul did. It is very difficult to judge if someone is in an emergency condition; at least,I cannot judge. Moreover,it has to be checked with the doctors what they told the couple.

Dr Rajeev Vadera

Note: Friday was the third day of the incident and the authorities are yet to question their staff on duty.

Have you even once met Chotelal?
No,I haven’t met him even once,but the inquiry officer has.”

Dr Veena Sarna,Head of Gynaecology department

Has the inquiry been concluded?
I am yet to conclude the inquiry; but Chotelal has told us that he has no issues with the hospital authorities.

Dr Raman,inquiry officer from the radiology department.

The contradiction:Chotelal has,in his police complaint,blamed the medical staff for negligence because of which his child died.

It was seen in the footage that the couple went to a room. Why did they go there?
They might have gone to urinate or for blood tests. Actually,my orientation of the gynaecology ward is not good so I will not be able to answer.

Dr M P Singh,Deputy Medical Superintendent

On entering the gynaecology ward,the same path goes to the labour ward,and immediately taking,a right turn is the Gyne waiting ward. Did it take the couple approximately 15 minutes to reach the gynaecology ward?

The inquiry is going on. We will get all answers after it.

Dr Rajiv Vadera

Health secy’s directions
Health Secretary Ram Niwas has directed the hospital to advertise its facilities and install proper signage for uneducated people. He has not seen the CCTV footage or the completed inquiry report,though.

Medical experts have also said that Bulbul had four grams of haemoglobin,which could have been fatal.

Gone in 24 minutes
As seen on CCTV
10:34:45 am:
Bulbul leans against her husband and enters the Gynaecology department from the inquiry counter end. Her husband,Chotelal,tries to comfort her and takes her around the ward looking for medical assistance.

10:49:40 am:The couple reaches the counter where the cards are made in the waiting area of Gynaecology ward. There is a long queue so he goes straight to the window and tells the pharmacist,Jasjit Kaur,that his wife is in a critical condition. Kaur makes the card but before handing it to,Chotelal,she asks him to get Rs 2. Chotelal looks around and someone gives him Rs 10. He goes back and collects the card. It is 10.49.55 am and Chotelal gets the card.

10:50:20 am:The couple moves towards the OPD where doctors are examining patients. It is significant to note here that most of the patients in the CCTV footage could be seen looking at this couple as Bulbul was facing great difficulty in moving around. However,no medical assistants came to help the couple.

10:51:30 am:The couple then come out of the OPD and go towards the window where the blood tests are conducted.

10:55:41 am:The couple again returns to OPD.

10:56:43 am:Both Bulbul and Chotelal again come out of the OPD and go towards the window where blood samples are tested.

10:58:05 am:Bulbul,while standing there,delivers a child that falls on the ground head down,and so does Bulbul. Following this,people raise a hue and cry and people gather around her.

10:59:08 am:Pharmacist Jasjit Kaur picks up the newborn with one hand and drags Bulbul to the labour ward.

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