Dhule woman's death: State orders probe

Updated: May 18, 2019, 07:52 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

mid-day impact >> Following this paper's report about how a woman allegedly turned away by Global Hospital died, minister orders probe into why she was forced to be taken from Dhule to Mumbai

Dhule woman's death: State orders probe
Marathe was shifted to Seva Superspeciality Hospital in Dhule from Suraj Hospital

The state health minister has ordered a high-level inquiry into the death of Rekha Marathe from Dhule, who died at the civic-run KEM hospital on April 20, after being shifted from Parel's Global Hospital over lack of funds. Vijay Deshmukh, State Minister for Public Health, said that the doctors in Dhule should not have advised shifting the woman to Mumbai.

The Public Health Minister's office has already directed Dhule's civil surgeon to collect primary information on the issue which will be followed by a detailed probe to be conducted by Additional Director, Child and Woman Welfare, State Health Services, Pune. Dr Archana Patil, additional director, State Health Services said, "A detailed probe will be undertaken into why the patient was shifted all the way to Mumbai instead of being sent to Medical College Dhule or Government Hospital Dhule. Why the 108 ambulance service was not used will also be checked."

Global Hospital, Parel
Global Hospital, Parel

"Reports of this inquiry along with that of BMC's maternal mortality review committee will be reviewed before taking any action," Patil added. A final report from the State Health Services will be submitted to the Maharashtra Medical Council.

Dr Manik Sangle, Dhule civil surgeon has ordered all treatment papers from both Saroj Maternity Hospital and Seva Superspeciality Hospital in Dhule where Rekha Marathe was treated. "We will also ascertain if the patient was fit to be taken to Mumbai instead of a nearby centre," Dr Sangle added. Why the hospitals had not informed public health officials about it will also be probed.

Marathe's brother-in-law Hiralal, who accompanied Rekha's husband Govind to Mumbai said, "We were informed by the doctors at both Saroj and Seva hospitals that her condition was deteriorating and asked us to take her either to Nasik or Mumbai. We decided to get her to Mumbai and the private ambulance cost us Rs 17,500."

Rekha Marathe
Rekha Marathe

Suraj Hospital has no answers

Dr Prashant Marathe, running Saroj Maternity Home in Dhule for the past 12 years, and a distant relative of the deceased, said, "She was due for her third delivery on May 27 and had last visited the hospital in the first week of April when everything was fine." On April 18, she was brought in an emergency condition to the hospital, where abruption placenta (the placenta gets separated from the uterus) was diagnosed. We decided to do emergency cesarean and found the foetus (34 weeks) around 2.5 kilogram, dead in the womb due to no supply of blood to the infant. We also found a large blood clot inside the uterus (almost 5X5 cm) and decided to conduct a life-saving Hysterectomy (removal of uterus) and the patient had already started showing signs of disturbed hematology parameters (fall in platelet level etc)," said Dr Marathe.

Rekha's husband, with their two children. File Pic
Rekha's husband, with their two children. File Pic

She developed a cardiac arrest during the course of surgery and had to be intubated and put on mechanical ventilator after giving her CPR, he added. Post surgery, "she required Intensive Care support, which we do not have in our hospital which is why a private physician was called in and he too suggested shifting her to a bigger centre," he added.

When asked why she wasn't taken to Medical College Dhule, he said, "The relatives wanted to take her to a bigger hospital," he said, without answering if she was in a condition to travel such a long distance (330 km). Attempts made to contact Dr Prashant Patil, CEO and physician at Seva Hospital, Dhule, did not yield any results.

'Bad decision to shift to Mumbai'

Dr Y S Nandanwar, professor and former head of the Obstetrician and Gynecology department at LTMG Hospital, Mumbai, said, "It was a bad decision to advice the patient to be transferred all the way to Mumbai; they wasted the precious golden hour. The Medical College in Dhule is well-equipped to handle such medical emergency cases," he added.

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