Family blames hematologist for death of pregnant mother, hospital claims they have no such post 

‘In our enquiry we have come to know that the person who did the blood transfusion is an employ at LD and was also the relative of the deceased patient’

In the blame game played over the death of a mother after delivering her baby at Lalla Ded Hospital of Srinagar, the hospital authorities are being blamed for their negligence which they accept, while blaming the patient’s relative for the tragedy.

The morning of June 2, 2017 was not going to be pleasant for the family of Shaheena Banoo and her unborn baby when, according to the medical records she needed 3 units of platelet concentration advised by the ‘Hematologist’ that the hospital later on denied having.

The family of the deceased has filed a Right to Information (RTI) on June 10, seeking information about multiple things, one of them – to know about the educational background of the Hematologist that had given the advice to do a blood transfusion.

On September 26, GMC Principal Dr Samia Rashid told the Free Press Kashmir that in their investigation they have found out the nursing orderly to be in relation with the deceased patient, “in our enquiry we have come to know that the person who did the blood transfusion is an employ at LD and was also the relative of the deceased patient, who had gone himself to get the blood and did the transfusion without informing the concerned or any doctor.”

“What has been told to me is that there was someone in the hospital who had gone to get the blood and started it on its own, that person was an employ of the hospital and also the relative of the patient this is what has actually happened,” Dr Samia adds, after being asked how can the procedure be done without the concerned doctor being present.

The hospital authorities in reply to the RTI have stated that the hospital has no designated post of Hematologist in its establishment, “We have a person there in the blood bank who has done some diploma in Hematology. He is not a full-fledged Hematologist. He has been all along working in the blood bank, he is MD medicine and he was the one whose opinion was sought and who had recommended the platelet transfusion,” says Dr Samia Rashid.

Earlier, in that morning the doctors had run some tests that came out negative and everything was going fine until, according to the family, one of the doctors acknowledged the visit of a Hematologist who would see the blood count of the patient that is mandatory for every pregnant woman.

“The Hematologist told us there is nothing to worry about. She is a little low on platelets and she is to be given three units of platelet concentration the next day, at that time her platelet count was seventy six thousand which we have come to know now was normal at that point of time,” says Shaheena’s Brother-in-Law Nasir.

The expecting mother was a teacher at Government Middle School Qamarwari.

After being advised to give the patient a count of two thousand platelets, her mother-in-law had gone to the blood bank with the prescription (that the hospital authorities allegedly has kept to themselves so far) and asked the Hematologist to follow what had been written on the record.

“My mother went to the blood bank counter and asked them to kindly do as is written and after fifteen minutes a guy came in wearing a white coat and started to do the procedure and as soon as he started the platelet drip, the patient started to react to the procedure,” explains Nasir.

According to him, nobody was present at the scene except the mother-in-law and the guy, who claimed to be the Hematologist. Later, when things had gone out of control, a doctor from another unit had been called to check on the patient, “on seeing only one person doing the procedure, the doctor regretted about what had been done to Shaheena and also said it should’ve been done under the supervision of the concerned doctor,” he adds.

Shaheena still had her baby inside her womb that had put her at more risk of causing damage to the unborn baby, following the reaction to the blood transfusion she had lost her consciousness and was taken to the operation theater where her baby was safely delivered.

“The baby was given to us immediately after she had been operated on but until 7 in the evening the patient was still inside the OT and after that I talked to Dr Nighat who told me that she was the head of that team and also excepted that they have done a mistake but right now the problem needs to be solved rather than creating a fuss about it,” mentions Nasir.

Dr Nighat had also told the family about the internal bleedings that Shaheena was developing and the doctors were trying to stop, “we are right now trying to stop the bleeding and trying to stabilize the patient that’s what Dr Nighat told me,” he adds.

Government Medical College Principal (GMC) Dr Samia Rashid also confirmed that the patient was bleeding from all the sources and to stop that she had been operated upon in which a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) was also done with the family’s consent.

“The doctor categorically told me that her condition was critical and there is a very less chance that she will live, I asked them if they have done everything they could then we should shift her to a better facility – Sher-e-Kashmir institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Soura to which they agreed and she was shifted,” Nisar says.

After being shifted to SKIMS Soura, Shaheena had undergone multiple organ failure that led to her death on June 6, 2017. The family now has been alleging the doctors of medical negligence that killed the mother.

While as on 21/06/2017 the hospital authorities had confirmed in a singed report that the set transfusion protocols were not followed and the transfusion was started by the nursing orderly without informing the doctor on duty.

The report also stated that there was no signed order for the transfusion on patient’s ticket and as per the written report by technician on duty transfusion was issued on pressure by the attendants.

The family also alleges that they had asked for the hospital records and all the documents that were made in the name of Shaheena Banoo during her stay in the hospital but have not been given to them so far by the hospital authorities while as Dr Samia claims that the documents have been given to that patient’s family after the same hospital authority mentioned in their reply to the RTI filed that the case sheet in which the prescription, documents and advices given by the doctors during the patient’s stay are recorded and can’t be revealed but can be inspected by the attended in the hospital premises only.

Shaheena’s husband Tariq Iqbal has been working to get the right answers for his wife’s death but what has been happening so far seems to be two opponents putting the blame on each other. In a prior report,

“I challenge the hospital authorities to prove that the nursing orderly was my relative and when they will fail to prove so I would want justice to be delivered,” Tariq says.

Dr Shahnaz Taing was also contacted for more details but she refused to comment, “I am bound by the Government rules and not allowed to talk to the media but as a human being and a responsible fellow citizen I am ensuring you of the fact that no medical negligence was done in this case.”

Lately the notice issued by the GMC principal not allowing doctors to talk to media outfits has kept reporters from getting the appropriate details regarding any medical issue.

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