Baby dies as parents scour hospitals for ventilator

Family visited five hospitals, trauma lasted for nine days.

Published: 24th November 2016 04:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th November 2016 04:59 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The city’s government paediatric ICUs do not have enough ventilator beds. Their availability is far less than the need. This was underlined in the tragic tale of the early demise of Saleem Pasha and Nazia Banu’s baby girl.

A resident of Munireddypalya, Nazia Banu went into labour on November 14 and was brought to JMG Hospital, in Nagawara at 12:30 pm, according to the hospital authorities.

Saleem alleged, “Nazia was bleeding heavily. The baby’s head could be seen. When we brought her to the hospital there was a delay in the doctor attending to her. At 6:20 am, when she delivered I was told by the treating doctor Dr Rosily Arikatt that the baby was dead. It was only at 9:30 am that they started reviving the baby and denied having told me that the baby had died.”

Gynaecologist Dr Rosily Arikatt said that Nazia had a ‘concealed abruptio placentae’, which is defined as the premature separation of the placenta from the uterus. Patients with abruptio placentae, also called placental abruption, typically present with bleeding, uterine contractions, and fetal distress.

“In such concealed cases, the condition isn’t evident. The baby’s APGAR scale was five, which later improved to seven after resuscitation. I never told the family the baby was dead. We wouldn’t do that unless there was no pulse,” she said.

The APGAR test quickly evaluates a newborn’s physical condition and sees if there’s an immediate need for extra medical or emergency care. APGAR stands for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration, and is done one minute and five minutes after birth.

As the family wanted a discharge and the baby needed ventilator support, which the hospital lacked, Baptist Hospital was contacted BUT IT didn’t have beds either.

Later, St Philomena’s was contacted. Since Pasha could not afford the cost he went to Vani Vilas Hospital in Victoria Hospital campus. It has only six ventilator beds in the pediatric ICU, and could not accommodate Nazia’s baby.

He later went to Bowring Hospital, which has 15 ventilator beds but none were empty that day. At last, he admitted his baby to Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Malleswaram.

“It was 5 pm by the time I reached this hospital. She was treated for four days there. There was no improvement. I enquired in Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health. There were no beds there either. I had spent `40,000 already. On asking how much time she has, the doctors said she has only three hours so I brought her home. The end did not come even the next day so we took her to KC General Hospital,” Pasha said.

The baby died at 3:40 am on Wednesday. Lack of enough ventilator beds in peadiatric ICUs in government hospitals sticks out in his tragedy.

Dr B D Raghunandan at KC General Hospital said, “She had suffered birth asphyxia- a medical condition resulting from less oxygen to a newborn infant causing harm to the brain. She had convulsions and had slipped into coma. Neonatal Resuscitation Program is important. If that golden minute is lost, it becomes difficult to revive the child.”

Pasha said he went to the Kadugondanahalli police station to file a medical negligence case against JMG Hospital. But the officers asked him to approach the Medical Council of India. “They said my baby had received all the treatment she required and I shouldn’t be complaining,” he said.

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