Rare disease or murder most foul? Family of dead baby seeks answers, hospital asks for 48 hours

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Srinagar: After a photo went viral on social media claiming that a baby had died due to burns and negligence when doctors placed a heater near the baby, the medical fraternity is facing a lot of flak online. The incident took place at Children’s Hospital G B Pant, on February 3.

The post was shared, tweeted and retweeted by well-known personalities in the valley including Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti accusing the hospital of Medical Negligence.

While the doctors maintain that the infant died due to a rare disease which resulted in blood coagulation, the case file of which was shared by Free Press Kashmir, the bereaved father blames the hospital authorities of Medical Negligence, and feels there might be an attempt to cover up the case.

ALSO READ: Fact Check: Death of baby due to burns or a rare disease which results in blood coagulation?

Aijaz Ahmad Wani, father of the infant told Free Press Kashmir, “she was born on February 1, 10 days before her 9th month in the womb would be completed,” adding she was his second child after a 2-year-old son. “She was our second child, first daughter,” says the father who hails from Kreeri, Baramulla in North Kashmir.

He says that his wife was never diabetic or never had medical issues and they had decided to go to Noora Hospital, Zainakote.

Aijaz was told to take his daughter to GB Pant Hospital in Sonwar as she was suffering from Hypoglycemia i.e., the low Glucose level in her body along with an alarming medical sign: her feet had turned blue.

Till then, Wani had not imagined that she had no chances of surviving. He and the maternal uncle of the baby stayed at the hospital, checking on her from time to time while she was kept in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) there.

Wani alleges that the two had seen a blower kept near her and had made a hue and cry about the same.

“We don’t know what that was. It looked similar to the blower we have at home. They are calling it warmer. Whatever it was, it burnt her,” says Wani, further alleging that the NICU was already warm enough.

“Her Uncle had seen the burns and after he had made some noise they prescribed her an ointment Silverex that is used to heal burns. There were doctors on night duty. We don’t know their name. Due to their negligence, it happened,” says Wani.

When the infant was admitted in the hospital, says Wani, many tests were run. According to him, all the tests were okay.

“They ran many tests on our daughter the day we bought her to G B Pant Hospital. They took out two syringes of her blood. They ran X-rays on her. The tests were all OK. Would the tests not have revealed if she had any such disease?” he asks.

When she died, Wani says that no discharge papers were handed over to them and the test reports were also kept by the hospital.

“They got us out from the gate on the back. We were in a shock and we could not ask them for anything then. They arranged a cab and we went home,” he says doubting the exact time of the death.

“We don’t know if the machines were making her breathe of if she was alive,” he says.

“Then they told us she has Pneumonia etc. and then they shifted her to an emergency. We even complained with the CMO, a rank below Dr Kanwarjit Singh (MS) and she agreed that the mistake had been committed,” says Wani.

“We didn’t highlight the issue for our own sake. But we don’t want anyone else to face the same fate. It would be better if those responsible for it would be punished,” he adds.

Meanwhile, on Wani’s application, the Hospital Authorities have ordered a probe, the report of which is to be declared within 48 hours.

“We have issued an enquiry. Within 48 hours, the report will be public. The father of the infant is traumatised with the tragedy. Warmers are already installed in the NICU. Obviously, it will keep the child warm. We have ACs installed in there. Anyone can check it and we are ready to give records to anyone who asks for them. We have nothing to hide,” says Medical Superintendent G B Pant Hospital Dr Kanwarjit Singh.

“The medical records are for all to see that in what condition was the baby girl bought from Noora Hospital. She had Haemorrhages, sinuses, Bradycardia, blood sugar was down, her feet were blue. If only the sugar level was down, why would we admit her in NICU in the first place? She was critical. Noora Hospital is equipped to have managed the blood sugar otherwise,” he points.

He says the footage of 64 CCTV cameras installed in the area can be checked.

“If it is the doctor’s fault, we will punish them very harshly, and that is why the committee is there. We are waiting for the report. The father has his apprehensions and it is understandable. We are duty bound to act on his application where he calls it negligence. We are saying we will hold a probe and they report will be made public. It will be clear in 48 hours,” says Dr Singh.

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