State stays suspension of Jaslok blood bank licence

After allegations of wrong blood transfusion resulting in patient's death, bank's licence was suspended by FDA; govt gives hospital a month before appearing for hearing

The state government has stayed the suspension order issued for Jaslok hospital's blood bank by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after numerous requests poured in from the hospital authorities. MiD DAY is in possession of the letter written by the hospital, appealing against the suspension.

Seeking justice: Narendra Makhijani says that he has complained to the
Maharashtra Medical Council and it will investigate his daughter Deepti's
(below) case. File pics

The suspension came last month after the FDA inquired into the death of 21-year-old Deepti Makhijani, a leukemia patient who according to her family's complaint died because of a wrong blood transfusion at the hospital. She was given B-positive instead of A-positive blood.

The FDA had issued the order in February for a period of 15 days from March 27 to April 10. The suspension meant that the hospital would not be able to store blood or conduct transfusions. "We had issued them a suspension order, but they have got a stay from the government which has quasi-judicial powers. Now, it is up to the government to decide," said PR Uttarwar, joint commissioner, FDA.

"We have asked for the stay since Jaslok is a multi-specialty hospital and we do not want patients to get affected. The FDA has clearly said in the inquiry report that the patient has not died of wrong blood transfusion but cancer. We had detected the transfusion, but that is not the cause of the patient's death; the patient died of cancer," said Jaslok's medical director S K Mohanty. The hospital now has a month's time at the end of which it will have to appear for a hearing before the state government to present its side.

'In the wrong'
"The FDA is the competent authority in the case, and its act of suspending the licence clearly shows the hospital did a wrong blood transfusion. If it gets a stay and escapes punishment, it will not be right. The authorities are only sitting on the matter and delaying justice. We have also complained to the Maharashtra Medical Council, and they are investigating the medicine given to my daughter.
If Jaslok is getting a stay on the grounds of the cause of Deepti's death, it's wrong because the FDA, being a non-medical body, cannot decide on the cause," said Narendra Makhijani, Deepti's father.

The case
According to Makhijani, his daughter Deepti was given wrong blood transfusion, which resulted in her death. The aggrieved father filed a police complaint with the Gamdevi police station on December 11, 2011. Deepti, alumna of KC College in Churchgate and employee of Google in Hyderabad, was admitted to Jaslok hospital on August 9, where she received her first dose of chemotherapy under Dr Advani's treatment. She was discharged on September 3 and re-admitted on September 27, for her second round of treatment. On October 5, during the course of a blood transfusion, Deepti alerted the nurse on duty that she was experiencing pain, which the nurse allegedly ignored. She died of multiple organ failure on December 8.

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