'My child died of profuse bleeding; They hid everything from us till she died’

Aishwarya, a native of Chittoor Thathamangalam

Palakkad: The family of the deceased woman have raised severe allegations of medical negligence against the doctors and the hospital over the incident of the death of the woman and her newborn child at Thangam Hospital in Yakkara, at Palakkad. After a detailed inquiry, the Medical Board submitted a report on the last day concluding that Aishwarya, wife of Ranjith, a native of Chittoor Thathamangalam, and their newborn baby had died in the first week of July, due to medical negligence on the part of three doctors. The doctors were arrested following the report and later released on bail.

The family, stating that the death of Aishwarya and her newborn was due to negligence on the doctors’ part, demanded the arrested doctors be expelled from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and to initiate action against them.

Her kin alleged that the hospital authorities had claimed the ambulance was broken down when they requested for the ambulance to bring blood. Despite knowing that her state was deteriorating, the doctors were not willing to do a Caesarean section surgery on her. Dr Priyadarshini, who resides hardly one and a half kilometres away from the hospital, reached the hospital one hour after the delivery, the family alleged.

There were complaints against Dr Ajith Sathyanandan earlier also. Many newborn babies have died. As the doctor adopted to vacuum extraction procedure to get the baby delivered, Aishwarya’s uterus suffered from a 9.5 cm long laceration. Though this does not find a mention in the case sheet, it is evident from the post-mortem report. The family alleged that this wound and the profuse bleeding thereafter led to her death.

While her body was taken for post-mortem, the uterus which was removed by then was not handed over initially. Later, the police intervened and ensured that the uterus also reached the post-mortem table, Aishwarya’s kin said. The post-mortem report also mentioned that Aishwarya was not given the treatment needed in the first hour post delivery.

Aishwarya’s sister Ashwathy alleged that though the family had requested a C-section delivery, the doctors were not ready for it.

Talking to Manorama Online on the unfortunate incident, Ashwathy said:

Dr Nila had told that the baby is in a breech position and that they might need surgery, during the previous scan. On June 23, Aishwarya was told to get admitted for a C-section. Aishwarya used to consult Dr Priyadarshini initially and Dr Nila in Priyadarshini’s absence.

On 23 rd, we went to get hospitalised, prepared for the C section. Aishwarya’s husband Ranjith, his parents and my mother went along. On that day, Dr Priyadarshini examined her and told her that there was a change in the baby’s position. She was sent back home and told to return after a week. On June 29, by 2 in the afternoon, we reached the hospital. We were told to get Aishwarya admitted. On 30 th, they gave her tablets to induce labour at 5 am and later at 6.45 am. However, she did not have contractions through that day.

It was repeated on July 1, but in vain. Though medicines were repeated to induce labour on July 2 nd also, she did not have any pain. They were of the opinion that an operation was not needed as the baby was in a normal position then. We can only trust what they say.

On that day, her stomach was cleared. Dr Priyadarshini was on duty. In between, when I went inside the labour room to meet her, she told me that they had broken her waters to induce pain. We were not informed by the doctors about it though. Even though she had mild contractions and pain, it settled in a while. But, by then she was very weak and tired. She did not have the energy to push and deliver the baby. When I went inside again, she told me that they broke the waters again.

The doctors who were examining her left the hospital by evening. Later, Dr Ajith Sathyanandan came on duty around 8.45 pm. He examined her twice and told us that the position has become 7 cm from the earlier 4 cm. Though he told us that we could wait, we requested him for a C-section delivery. However, they did not agree. The doctor reached the labour room by around 10 pm. He said, ‘the position is at 16 cm now, everything is ok, we are going to get the baby delivered,’ and closed the door.

‘The delivery was over by 10.30. It is a boy baby. The baby is not crying well, but the heartbeat is there. The baby has been shifted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,’ the doctor informed. When we asked about Aishwarya, he said she was fine. However, we were not allowed to meet her even after a long time.

Two hours later, the paediatrician called and told us not to keep hopes on the newborn as he had not cried at all since birth. They told us to sign a consent document which said that they were not responsible if something happened to the baby. When we questioned that, the paediatrician said, ‘delivery is their forte, we are only taking care of the baby.’ Finally, we signed the papers. After a few hours, we were told that the baby is dead.

All the while, the nurses seemed to rush and panic. When we asked them where Aishwarya was and what had happened, they told us she had profuse bleeding. 

They were hiding everything. As her blood group was O negative, it was difficult to get matching blood units. They did not inform us that blood was needed or anything else. At last, when we went inside to see her, she was lying there on oxygen support. They had collected the lost blood in a bottle. It was evident that profuse bleeding had started during the delivery itself.

Dr Ajith was not able to spot the source of the bleeding. Later, Dr Priyadarshini was called in. Ajith who had not examined Aishwarya even once attended to her delivery. After saying that everything was normal, they used vacuum extraction to get the baby delivered. This led to the baby getting a cord around the neck.

Thereafter, they informed that Aishwarya was to be shifted to the Operation theatre to find out the source of the bleeding. By then, she had already lost a lot of blood from her body. After one and a half hours, we were called and told that they have not been able to find the source of the bleeding yet. It can be found and arrested only by cutting open the abdomen, they said. We agreed to it thinking that nothing should happen to her. We were called again after everything was done. They said, ‘We have sutured the source of the bleeding and tried applying coagulant medication (to help the blood clot). But the bleeding does not seem to stop. So, we have to remove the uterus.’ However, they had already removed the uterus.

In a while, they said, the bleeding stopped after removing the uterus. They kept telling us lies until she died.

Aishwarya’s husband Ranjith requested a doctor to tell us the truth assuring him that we will not tell it out. That doctor revealed that she still had bleeding. She was shifted to the ventilator for life support as her state deteriorated. My sister would have died by night itself. They were scared to inform us. 

On July 4 morning, the DMO reached and examined her. The DMO told us that she was alive only because of the ventilator support and asked us what was to be done. People, including our family and relatives, had gathered at the hospital. The hospital authorities informed us that Aishwarya was no more in the presence of the Police.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.