21-year-old delivers baby in open at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, 5 doctors de-rostered


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File photo of Safdarjung Hospital

NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry de-rostered five doctors of Safdarjung Hospital‘s obstetrics and gynaecology division on Tuesday following reports of a 21-year-old woman delivering outside the gynaecology room because she wasn’t hospitalised in time.
Poonam, the woman who was 33 weeks and six days pregnant, was rushed to the central government-run hospital from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. A senior resident on duty examined her at 5.45pm and found the woman was in early labour with pre-eclampsia, a condition that can lead to eclampsia with health risks for both the mother and the newborn. Experts said the only way to manage preeclampsia is to have the baby delivered.
Poonam’s family alleged that she was examined by the doctor-on-duty at the gynaecology receiving room, who decided that she hadn’t entered labour pain yet. “Later, they asked us to take her for an ultrasound on the fourth floor. We went there but after waiting for hours, the staff said the machine wasn’t working,” claimed a woman relative of Poonam.
The woman and her kin spent Monday night outside the gynaecology receiving room and Poonam delivered a baby girl around 9.30am on Tuesday.
Rabia, an advocate, was present and recorded the incident. She shared the video on social media, which erupted in outrage. Delhi Commission for Women took suo motu cognisance of the matter and sent a notice to the hospital.
The Union health ministry, on the directive of minister Mansukh Mandaviya, formed a high-level committee to enquire into the matter. “Five of the doctors have been debarred from duties until the probe is completed,” a health ministry official said, adding that Poonam and her newborn were currently in the care of Safdarjung Hospital.
The hospital claimed, however, that Poonam was to blame. “The patient was offered admission, but she did not return with the admission papers,” Safdarjung said in a statement.
The hospital added that on Tuesday morning the senior resident on duty was informed about a patient delivering a baby outside the receiving room. “A GRR team was dispatched immediately and the patient’s delivery was taken care of. The patient is currently admitted in LR-II and the baby weighing 1.4kg is admitted in nursery 9 in view of her low birth weight. Both are in stable condition,” the hospital statement said.
A notice has been served to Dr Anjali Dabral, who heads the obstetrics and gynaecology division at Safdarjung, requiring her to submit a detailed report within 48 hours. The five doctors who have been debarred till the inquiry is completed – two senior residents, one junior resident, two post-graduate students and one intern – have been sent a show cause notice asking them to reply within 24 hours why disciplinary action should not be initiated against them.

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