Probe ordered into death of pregnant woman

IMPHAL, 6th Aug: The government of Manipur has constituted an enquiry committee to investigate into the death of a pregnant woman on Thursday morning allegedly due to medical negligence.
As per an order issued by the joint secretary (health & family welfare) R Rang Peter, the probe panel will be headed by Medical Directorate’s additional director (planning) Dr H Babychand as the chairperson while deputy director (Public Health) Dr Y Premchandra will be the member.
Advising authorities of hospitals connected with the case to extend cooperation to the probe panel, the joint director also asked the committee to submit its findings within a week from the date of constitution of the panel.
According to sources, the victim identified as Kanpatliu Kamei (20) w/o Roshan Balang of Puichi (Oktan) village under Haochong sub-division in Noney district breathed her last at about 4 am Thursday at the entrance of Shija Hospitals’ casualty block.
It is informed that the pregnant woman with some family members reached Senapati district hospital at 2 pm Wednesday with doctors on duty assuring the patient party that the delivery procedure was being made.
However, after doctors advised around 10.30 pm that the expectant mother be taken to Imphal, the party hired a private vehicle and reached JNIMS around 12.30 am Thursday.
At JNIMS, she was again denied admission in-spite of the patient possessing Covid-10 negative test result with the nurses on duty contending that there were no doctors to attend to her.
In desperation, the patient party requested a man working in a pharmacy to guide them to any hospital as they were unfamiliar of places in Imphal.
Even though the particular individual took them to RIMS Hospital and then to Imphal Hospital (private) and two other private hospitals, the patient party faced the same inhumane attitude of the hospital authorities.
As a last resort, the patient was taken to Shija Hospitals but both the woman and her unborn child died at the casualty entrance around 4 am before the hospital authorities could be consulted with.
On the other-hand, our Senapati correspondent quoted family members and relatives as saying that Kanpatliu Kamei and her husband Roshan Balang moved from their Makuilongdi house to her parental home as her delivery date got nearer. The woman was reportedly brought to the District Hospital, Senapati on August 5 around 4 pm after complications developed while trying to deliver the baby at home.
After admission to the district hospital, she reportedly complained of abdominal pain and not able to feel the baby's movement since the previous day. Casualty doctor reportedly did ultrasound at casualty ward and found that there was no foetal heart rate implying it as a case of intra uterine foetal dead (IUFD). The same was reportedly explained to the husband and her attendants in the hospital while at Senapati.
Sources claimed that they were reportedly informed about the pelvic examination and that she would under observation for progress of labor and in case of no progress would be referred to Imphal. This was reportedly agreed by the husband along with other attendants at Senapati District Hospital. Having found no progress for delivery, the doctor on duty discussed the situation with her husband and relatives around 9 pm on August 5. On request from the husband and other relatives, the doctor on duty reportedly had referred the patient to Imphal to treat any complicacy if there be.
In the aftermath of the tragic incident that brought to the fore indifferent attitude of the hospital authorities, many organisations and individuals have demanded suitable punitive actions against doctors and nurses who denied help to the patient in-spite of being fully aware about her condition.
Expressing strong resentment over demise of Kanpatliu Kamei after she was denied medical care by five different hospitals, Federation of All Tribal Youth Clubs Manipur (FATYCM) has condemned the state health minister and the department concerned for their inefficiency in looking after the current health care situation in the state.
FATYCM also condemned MLAs from the hills for not discharging bounden duty as representative of people at this point of time and opined that many patients would have been saved had there been proper medical facility in the hills.
All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM), INPUI Naga Union (INU), All INPUI Students Union (AISU), INPUI Naga Women Union (INWU) and Longmai Areas Authority Council (LAVAC) also strongly condemned the inhumane acts of hospitals that led to the tragic demise of a pregnant woman on Thursday early morning.
In a joint release, the bodies recalled that Kapatliu Kamei died after running between hospitals for 16 hours. The hospitals which denied admission to the peculiarly dangerous nature of patients are - Senapati District Hospital, JNIMS, RIMS, Imphal Hospital, Raja Medicity, and Shija Hospitals, it claimed while lamenting that the hospitals made excuses not to admit pregnant woman in the name of Covid-19 or lack of doctors to treat her.
Decrying the inhumane act, the release demanded administrative probe under the CMO of the districts concerned and also to give befitting punishment against the medical officials in accordance with prevalent Acts and Rules.
As by rules, if the patient cannot be admitted to the District Hospital, a senior employee of the hospital should contact a higher centre for referral. In this case, the patient was not looked at by a senior employee and was turned away. Taking seriousness of the situation, action should be taken against the staff and ward nurses for their negligence and inhumane discrimination against a tribal pregnant woman, the release added.
Insisting that hospital staffers on duty are responsible for the demise of Kapatliu, the bodies demanded district administration to issue notices to the hospitals. As the government and private hospitals were not following medical ethics as mandated, FIR should be filed against them, it added.
Government should immediately carry out a probe and take action against the responsible officers and the hospitals, the release demanded while adding that the hospitals that denied admission have to pay adequate compensations in accordance with law.
ATRPFM along with other civil organisations and the general public will take their own course of action if government fails to ensure their demands, the release cautioned.

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