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Hospital fires docs for refusing to admit pregnant woman

The doctors at Swami Dayanand Hospital in Northeast Delhi had referred the woman for an ultrasound to an adjoining hospital.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Published: June 23, 2014 3:35:31 am

A municipal hospital in Delhi has terminated the services of two senior resident doctors for “laxity” and issued a warning to the head of gynaecology for refusing to admit a pregnant woman, who came to the hospital for delivery on June 3.

The doctors at Swami Dayanand Hospital in Northeast Delhi, under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, had referred the woman for an ultrasound to an adjoining hospital. She delivered on the way in a rickshaw.

The patient, Shaheen, is a resident of Ashok Nagar. Both the mother and baby recovered, but an inquiry committee was set up after the patient’s family complained to their area councillor and hospital authorities, alleging negligence in treatment.

Authorities at the hospital said the action was taken to “send a strong message” to the hospital staff. “The patient came to our hospital a little before midnight to the emergency with acute stomach pain. After examining her, doctors felt that she could go into labour very soon, so she was sent to the labour room in the gynaceology department,” Dr M Jaipal, the hospital’s medical superintendent, said.

Dr Jaipal said the two doctors on duty told Shaheen’s family that she needed a Level 2 ultrasound, the facility for which was only available in the hospital during morning hours under the supervision of a specialist in radiology.

“We felt that the doctors could have managed with a routine ultrasound instead of an advanced one or sent her in a hospital ambulance for the test in another hospital. We terminated the contracts of the two doctors and issued a warning to the head of the gynaecology department, asking her to give proper directions to doctors on duty in the labour room at night,” he said.

Sources said it also emerged during the inquiry that the two doctors did not keep any records of the patient and had first denied before the inquiry committee that she had come to the hospital.

Meanwhile, an inquiry committee has been set up at the state-run Lok Nayak hospital after the family of a 22-year-old patient diagnosed with TB in the brain alleged he was discharged before his treatment was completed.

The family refused to take him home and stayed in the hospital waiting room, where he died on June 20.

“We have set up a committee since certain queries had come from the Delhi government. But prima facie, there does not appear to be any negligence. The patient came to us first in April. We diagnosed him with brain TB and put him on standard TB treatment…,” hospital medical superintendent Dr Sidharth Ramji said.

He said the patient visited the hospital again this month and was admitted for over a week.

“He was discharged with the family’s consent and due instructions on continuing the medicines. There was nothing more the hospital could do in terms of treatment, he was critical and the family was duly informed,” Dr Ramji said.

But the patient’s sister alleged that hospital authorities discharged her brother, ignoring the family’s requests.

“My brother was a labourer, we don’t have a house in Delhi. So we could not take him home. We kept telling the doctors to let him stay, but they said he only had to be given medicines,” she alleged.

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