Mumbai: Govandi resident loses baby after doctor's apparent negligence
Govandi resident recalls how she lost her baby after a doctor allegedly refused to refer them to another hospital for a cesarean section. A complaint has been filed with the police
Shabana and her husband had their first child seven years ago
After seven years of fertility treatment, Shabana Iliyaz Qureshi, 26, was grateful to doctors and the marvels of medicine for helping her finally conceive her second child. She never imagined that less than nine months later, another doctor's alleged negligence would result in her losing the baby.
The family claimed that during labour, the baby's head was stuck for hours, and the nursing home refused to refer Shabana to a civic hospital for cesarean section until it was too late. After a week on ventilator support, the baby passed away on August 12. A complaint has been filed at the Govandi police station.
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Promised a 'normal' delivery
Shabana gave birth to her first child seven years ago through c-section. After over three years of trying to conceive again, she began fertility treatment. With the treatment, it took another three years before she got pregnant. She was given a due date at the end of this month, but things turned ugly when she began feeling feverish on August 4.
She went to the nearby Sahara hospital, where Dr Shabnam E Shaikh checked her and asked if she wanted to opt for a normal delivery. They also decided on a fee of Rs 10,000 for the delivery.
"I made it clear that I didn't have any problem with c-section, as my first child had also been delivered that way. But I said that if I needed a c-section, I would go to a civic-run hospital, as I could not afford the procedure at a private hospital," recalled Shabana.
Baby had turned blue
She began to experience labour pain the same night and was taken to the nursing home early next morning. Dr Shabnam was allegedly unavailable till late morning. When the family wanted to shift Shabana to a civic-run hospital, the doctor assured them that she would perform a normal delivery. But, as the child was slightly bulky at 3.5 kg, his head got stuck during labour.
"They took me to the operation theatre around 2 pm, and the doctor kept pushing my stomach to bring the child out. After a nurse performed an enema, the baby's head came out, but his body got stuck. Till 6 pm, I kept pushing. I requested them to refer me to another hospital, but the doctor insisted on keeping me there. Only after my child started turning blue, did she ask us to go," Shabana recounted.
They had to look for an auto
The nursing home didn't have an ambulance or stretcher to carry Shabana. Even as the baby's head was sticking out of her body, her husband carried her in his arms until he found an auto to take her to Bakul Parekh Children's Hospital, Ghatkopar.
Shabana delivered there, but there was only more bad news. "He didn't even cry. My baby's head was left hanging for four hours and I kept pushing to bring him out. I was reeling in pain and requested the nursing home doctor several time to refer me to a civic hospital," said Shabana.
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Activist Shashi Agarwal from Madat Samajik Sanstha, Thane, helped the family to file a police complaint at Govandi police station. "When Shabana went to the nursing home with the complaints of fever, the doctor checked her and she opened her water bag. So, as soon as she reached home, the labour pain started. The doctor stated that the child died as it was underweight, but the child was quite healthy weighing 3.5 kg," said Shashi.
Medical records cite 'obstructed labour' as the cause for the health condition of the child.
A senior police officer said, "We have received the complaint. We can't register a FIR until the investigation is over."
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The other side
Dr Shabnam E Shaikh, from Sahara hospital, said, "We checked her for an hour when she came to me the first time. But as she wanted to do the delivery at a civic-run hospital, we referred her and didn't operate on her. We didn't try to deliver her child in my nursing home." She added, "I didn't even know that a police complaint had been filed against me."
The baby's weight
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