Five suspended for wrong blood transfusion in Andhra Pradesh

A 32-year-old new mother died at the Government General Hospital here on June 26 because she was given B positive blood instead of O positive.
Image used for representational purposes
Image used for representational purposes

ANANTAPUR: In what appears to be the worst case of medical negligence, a 32-year-old new mother died at the Government General Hospital here on June 26. The reason, a wrong blood group (B positive) was transfused to her, instead of her blood group (O positive). The incident came to light after the inquiry report on the negligence of GGH doctors and nurses was submitted to District Collector S Satyanarayana on Saturday.

Immediately, the Collector suspended Dr Siva Kumar (Hospital Medical Officer) and Dr Harshita (Gynecologist), blood bank technician Murali Mohan, staff nurses Praveena and Rukmini. The inquiry report had held the five GGH staff responsible for transfusing the wrong blood group to the new mother, leading to her death. Show-cause notices were also served to the GGH Superintendent K Jagannath and pathologist Dr Bhavani. The errant staff tried to cover their tracks and even misled the Collector. However, Satyanarayana suspecting something fishy in the entire episode and also on the directive of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed Anantapur Municipal Commissioner P Prasanthi to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the matter, which exposed the medical negligence.

On June 25, S Akhtar Bano of Tadipatri was admitted to the GGH by her husband Habibullah for delivery. She delivered a baby girl via Cesarean section. As Akhtar Bano became weak due to excessive blood loss during the surgery and her haemoglobin levels were below normal, the doctors decided to administer one unit of blood and transfused B positive blood to her. After 100 ml of blood was transfused, she developed serious complications.

The doctors and nurses attending the case immediately stopped blood transfusion and shifted her to the AMC ward from the gynaecology ward. Her family members were not informed of the reason for the sudden change of the ward. However, Akhtar Bano died at 1:15 am. On June 27, the doctors asked Habibullah to take her body home by stating that she died of cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment. Shocked and furious over the death of his wife, Habibullah and other family members staged a dharna with the body at the GGH for three hours. They suspected foul play and held the hospital authorities responsible for Akhtar Bano’s death. 

Having learnt about the incident through the media, Collector Satyanarayana visited the GGH on June 28. During the inquiry, he was misled by the hospital staff, who stressed that the patient’s blood was B positive. They apparently manipulated records, including case sheet and even changed blood samples to establish that her blood group was B positive. However, the Collector was not convinced and asked AMC Commissioner Prasanthi to probe into the matter. 

By that time the Chief Minister, who learnt about the incident from Anantapur MLA Anantha Venkatarami Reddy, had ordered an inquiry. Prasanthi had found that the case sheet of Akhtar Bano was manipulated to change her blood group. It was revealed when Prasanthi inquired into the matter at Tadipatri PHC, where Akhtar Bano underwent blood test on February 28. Her blood group was O positive, which was mentioned in Akhtar Bano’s MCH card and Anganwadi card.

The State government announced Rs 10 lakh as an ex gratia for Akhtar Bhano’s husband Habibullah. BC Welfare Minister M Shankar Narayana handed over a cheque for Rs 10 lakh to Habibullah at Tadipatri on Saturday evening. 

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The New Indian Express