No stretcher at Sassoon, woman delivers in auto; ordeal continues in stalled lift

Jaya Pawar (20), an expectant mother of two, went through a nightmarish experience yesterday after she began feeling labour pains at around 3 pm while walking with her husband near Samarth police station.

Having a bad day: Jaya and her husband Vikas Pawar with their baby at the maternity ward in Sassoon hospital after their ordeal yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

As she lay writhing on the pavement, an alert police constable informed the police control room, after which lady constable Nirmala Gabale from the Samarth police station was dispatched to assist the expectant mother. Gabale accompanied Jaya and her husband Vikas Pawar in an auto rickshaw to Sassoon hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, Jaya could not be wheeled into the building, as there was no stretcher available.

She went into labour just outside the hospital doors and ended up delivering her baby in the parked auto rickshaw. Vikas had rushed inside the hospital when they reached and was frantically searching for a stretcher. Unable to locate one, he returned to his wife’s side in time to help with the delivery.

Despite allegedly pleading with nurses to help his wife, Vikas ended up playing midwife and even cut his child’s umbilical cord with a blade he managed to get from nearby. The couple’s troubles did not end here and when Jaya was wheeled into the elevator to be taken to the maternity ward on the third floor, the lift stalled between floors. Vikas, Jaya and her infant, Gabale and a hospital attendant were trapped in the stalled elevator for over 45 minutes.

The elevator that stalled between floors, trapping them for more than 45 minutes. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

“Jaya was resting on the pavement near Samarth police station, when she suddenly began complaining of abdominal pain. Police constable Ketan Lokhande understood the situation and immediately informed the police control room,” Vikas said. Vikas added that when his wife arrived at the hospital he heaved a sigh of relief, but soon realised that their ordeal was just beginning.

“When I reached here, my wife was in severe pain. I rushed in to bring a stretcher, but none were available. While I was frantically searching for a stretcher, my wife began delivering our baby in the auto rickshaw,” Vikas said. Assistant Police Inspector Vazir Shaikh, in-charge of the police control room, said, “After getting a call from the constable, we asked Gabale to rush to the spot and she immediately shifted Jaya to Sassoon.”

According to the source at Sassoon hospital, Jaya did not get proper attention upon arriving. A source claims that Gabale and Vikas approached nurses on duty for help, but no one came forward. The woman’s husband was unable to even get a blade to cut the umbilical cord, but he managed to get one from elsewhere and do the needful.

Recollecting her ordeal from her bed in the hospital, Jaya said, “When I was on the way to the third floor via the elevator, it got stuck. We waited for help, but were trapped there for 45 minutes to an hour.” ¬†Vikas said, “Despite her ordeal, its just sheer luck that Jaya and the baby are fine.”

Nirmala Gabale said, “I reached the spot after getting a call from the control room and took Jaya to Sassoon hospital. Her husband went to get stretcher and the woman started delivering. I asked for help, but I was unable to get the attention of the nurses walking in the passage of the hospital so I concentrated on the delivery. Jaya’s husband returned as he was unable to get a stretcher and he also assisted with his child’s delivery.”

The other side
Dr D G Kulkarni, medical superintendent, Sassoon General Hospital said, “I am not aware about the incident and will enquire about it.”¬†

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