The city-based Apollo Gleneagles Hospital is facing its second case of medical negligence in two months after a four-month-old baby girl died there on Wednesday morning, with the family alleging that she lost her life due to denial of timely treatment.
After the death of Kuheli Chakraborty, a mob of around 30 people attacked the hospital and damaged its glass doors, following which cops intervened. The police are probing a case lodged against the hospital authorities and three of its doctors, while Apollo said it has constituted a three-member team of experts to look into the incident.
Kuheli was admitted to ESI Joka Hospital on April 13 after her parents noticed blood in her stool. On April 15, she was shifted to Apollo hospital. Four days later, she was declared dead.
The baby’s family has alleged that she was not attended to for the first two days. Her parents claimed they took Kuheli to Apollo hospital for a particular test, for which the hospital allegedly kept her on an empty stomach from morning to evening for two consecutive days. “We brought her to the hospital on the evening of April 15 for a colonoscopy. Doctors kept her on empty stomach from 7 am to 3 pm on April 16 and later didn’t do the test. They again did the same thing the next day. My child got weak, and later, on April 18, they gave her anaesthesia. I had repeatedly told the doctors to first check if my baby was healthy enough to take anaesthesia. They then conducted the test. After a while, we were told that she was on ventilator. Before we could understand anything, the doctors declared her dead,” Avijit Chakraborty, Kuheli’s father, who works as an X-ray technician at ESI Hospital, told The Indian Express.
“My daughter has been murdered by the doctors. I want all three doctors against whom we have lodged a complaint to be punished,” said the baby’s mother Shalu Chakraborty, crying.
The body could be sent for postmortem only after police managed to control the mob that gathered at the hospital after Kuheli’s death. “Four-month-old Kuheli Chakraborty was admitted at Apollo hospital on April 15 with a history of rectum polyps. The baby died Wednesday at around 7.50 am. The family members have lodged a complaint against an anaesthetist and two other doctors. On the basis of the complaint, a case has been initiated under Section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC. Postmortem examination has been done at NRS Hospital and the body of the child has been handed over to the family,” said ACP (III) Supratim Sarkar.
Dr Rana Dasgupta, CEO of Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, said, “We offer deepest condolences to the family of the child and regret that despite our best efforts, the child could not be saved. As per our administrative protocol, a 3-member medical committee constituting Prof Biswanath Mukhopadhyay, senior consultant pediatric surgeon and Dr Sujoy Kar, director (medical services) and a senior professor from a government medical college will investigate and submit a report.”
A statement issued by the hospital said, “On the evening of April 15, baby of Mrs Shalu Chakraborty was admitted to the emergency department of Apollo Gleneagles Hospital in a critical condition with complaints of un-resolved blood-in-stool after being referred from an ESI centre for management of rectal polyp. Immediate routine blood tests were done, and on April 18 evening, in the presence of a pediatrician and a team of gastroenterologists, a colonoscopy was done under sedation. This was a 5-minute procedure. Unfortunately, in the recovery room, the baby suffered a cardiac arrest. Immediately a cardiologist, pediatric ICU team and anaesthetist resuscitated her and put her on ventilator. She was shifted to a specialised pediatric ICU.
“On the intervening night of April 18 and 19, all critical care support was extended to the baby. However a second cardiac arrest occurred this morning, from which she was not able to be resuscitated.”
The hospital had been under the scanner for medical negligence and malpractices following the death of a patient in February and Apollo Group’s Managing Director Preetha Reddy, who met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the incident, had admitted to lapses in the hospital’s healthcare delivery in the past few months.