MADURAI: A 26-year-old pregnant schoolteacher from Reddiyapatti and her unborn child died at the Government Usilampatti Hospital on Thursday night reportedly because she could not be taken to the hospital in time. The 108 ambulance that transported her to the hospital from a Primary Health Centre (PHC) had taken ‘too much time’ to reach the PHC after the call was made.
Sources said that doctors, who checked P Sangeetha after she was brought to the hospital, found the baby boy dead inside her womb and performed a C-section surgery to remove its body. Hours later, Sangeetha died of what health department officials described as ‘low blood pressure’ According to her family members, she was admitted to the PHC in Vikkramangalam on Thursday morning for delivery. A doctor there had told them that Sangeetha’s would be a normal delivery. However, her labour was accompanied by inordinate pain, prompting the PHC staff nurse to refer her to government Usilampatti hospital. A doctor was not there at the time. Request for a 108-ambulance was made to transfer her, but the ambulance reached the PHC well over an hour later, sources said.
Following the death of the woman, her family members staged a protest in front of the government hospital on Friday, saying that the deaths were owing to negligence on the part of doctors and nurses.
“If the doctors had diagnosed her condition properly, hers and the baby’s lives could have been saved. This is a case of medical negligence,” her relatives said.
Health dept response
Officials from the Health Department denied there being a case of medical negligence in the deaths. They, however, added that the delay of the ambulance reaching the spot could have worsened the situation. “If the 108-ambulance management had informed the PHC that there would be a delay in reaching the spot, the PHC staff would have found an alternative method to rush her to the government, they said. Additional Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Dr N Chitra and Deputy Director of Health Services (Madurai) Dr P Priya Raj started an inquiry. Collector T G Vinay has ordered a separate inquiry into her death.