Report silent on cause of death,pulls up hospital for negligence

The probe report into the death of the three-day-old Jalandhar girl on July 26,which was submitted to the deputy commissioner,is silent over the exact cause of the child’s death.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Published: July 30, 2012 3:15:41 am

The probe report into the death of the three-day-old Jalandhar girl on July 26,which was submitted to the deputy commissioner (DC) on Sunday evening,is silent over the exact cause of the child’s death. The three-day-old allegedly died after doctors at the Civil Hospital refused to provide her life support as her father had failed to pay Rs 200 for treatment.

The report,however,accused a nurse of unduly pressurising the parents to deposit Rs 200 — which is illegal — for further treatment of the child. While the hospital has recorded asphyxia as the cause of death,the probe report has only mentioned that keeping the child away from the incubator or warmer and in photo therapy machine (for jaundice) could not result in her death. Moreover,while blaming the hospital of apathy and callousness,the report also accused its staff of negligence while adding that the parents were literally pushed out of the hospital after the child’s death.

The inquiry ordered by the state government following the incident and was conducted by ADC Parneet Bharadwaj,Nakodar SDM Dr Sumit,Civil Surgeon R L Bassan,Dr Sangeeta Kapur and Dr Jaswinder Kaur. Another enquiry,ordered by the Jalandhar DC,too was conducted by ADC Bhardwaj and SDM Sumit.

The victim’s father Sanjeev Kumar,a daily wage labourer,had accused the hospital staff of refusing to shift the infant in the incubator where she was put for four hours everyday after being born premature on July 22. “My child was diagnosed with jaundice and later shifted to emergency ward. She was put on life support. On Wednesday night,the hospital authorities told me to deposit Rs 200 as electricity charge needed to run the incubator. I was unable to pay the money. Later,they refused to put her on life support system,resulting in her death last night,” Kumar had alleged.

The report has also stated that while the fee for phototherapy unit was Rs 25 (as was mentioned by nurses themselves) per day,why Rs 200 were demanded on the third day of the girl’s treatment. It should not have been more then Rs 75,it added.

The panel has also question the presence of nurse Harjit Kaur Oberoi — who has been suspended — in paediatric ward when the incident took place as she was not on duty in that ward. The report has also raised questions that why the nurse on duty,Santosh Kumari,had not taken up the matter with senior authorities.

Harjit was suspended after an inquiry team found that she directed another nurse to force the victim’s father to deposit Rs 200 if he wanted the infant to be put in the incubator.

The report will be submitted to the state government on Monday.

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