Mumbai: Woman gives birth in crowded local train after two hospitals turn her away in 9 hours

Oct 29, 2018, 07:10 IST | Suraj Ojha and Samiullah Khan

Mother goes into labour and gives birth in crowded train; cops then put her, baby in cab and rush them to KEM

Mumbai: Woman gives birth in crowded local train after two hospitals turn her away in 9 hours
Surekha nearly passed out in the train from the pain and effort of giving birth, and her husband Sushil (right) carried her and the baby to a taxi

When Surekha Tiwari, 26, went into labour in the wee hours of Thursday, she and her husband rushed to the doctor, never imagining that she would not see a hospital bed for nine whole hours. Turned away by two public hospitals, Surekha ended up giving birth inside her salwar in the general compartment of a local train around noon. Half an hour later, when they reached KEM hospital, doctors finally cut the umbilical cord.

Surekha and her husband, Sushil Tiwari, 32, first rushed to Tembha civic hospital in Bhayander around 3 am. There, the attendants gave her some medicine but told the couple to go to Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli, as her condition was critical.

When they arrived at Shatabdi, they were made to wait for four hours. Around 7.30 am, the hospital staffers asked for a pink form from Tembha hospital. Sushil then went back to Tembha alone. By the time he got the paperwork done and arrived at Shatabdi, it was 11.30 am, and the attendants asked them to head to Nair hospital in Mumbai Central instead.

The couple then took an autorickshaw to Kandivli station and boarded a train heading south. By this time, it was close to noon, and the contractions were closer and stronger.

Mum recalls ordeal
Speaking to mid-day at KEM hospital, Surekha recalled, "I tried to fight the contractions, but when the baby's head was crowning, I couldn't bear the pain. After the delivery, I nearly passed out, but my husband carried me out of the train and to the hospital."

Her husband added, "Once the train passed Dadar, she was in extreme pain, and it became clear that the baby was going to come right there. I was in utter panic and didn't understand what to do, except to ask other passengers to give my wife some space."

Giving birth on the berth
She delivered right then on the train, still sitting in her salwar. But there was no time to pull the baby out of her pajamas. Surekha had nearly passed out from the effort and pain, just as the train pulled over at Elphinstone Road station.

"As soon as the train stopped, I lifted my wife - the baby was in her salwar - and carried them to the platform. Blood was dripping from our clothes to the ground. A cop saw us and helped us to a taxi," narrated Sushil.

By 12.30 pm, they arrived at KEM hospital in Parel, where staffers rushed mother and baby to the operating theatre, cutting the umbilical cord there. The mother is now out of the ICU, while the child is currently under observation in the NICU. According to Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM hospital, the newborn weighs a mere 918 gm. "The child is extremely underweight and is on ventilation in the NICU," he said.

The other side
When mid-day asked about Tembhe and Shatabdi hospitals turning the pregnant woman away, Dr Mahendra Wadiwala, who is in charge of peripheral civic hospitals, said he would investigate into the matter.

"If these allegations are true, such incidents should not happen in a civic hospital. I am unaware of the incident, but will inquire into it," said Dr Wadiwala. Meanwhile, Dr Padmaja Keskar, BMC's executive health officer under whose jurisdiction Tembhe hospital falls, did not answer mid-day's calls or texts.

Also Read: Denied ambulance, woman forced to give birth in moving bus

Inputs by Rupsa Chakraborty

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