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‘Intrauterine deaths on the rise’ at Ganga Ram

Updated July 12, 2013

LAHORE, July 11: The rising cases of alleged intrauterine deaths (IDUs) at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital are a cause of concern both for parents and gynecologists while the administration of the facility denied there was any alarming surge.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has one of the largest set-ups offering gynecology-related services in Punjab.

According to some gynecologists, the IUDs are normally attributed to accidents, poor follow-ups during pregnancy, poor nutrition, injuries caused by beating or complications of diabetes, hypertension and blood pressure during delivery process.

Quoting some studies, they said if a woman contacted the hospital after seven-month pregnancy with live baby the IUDs were mostly considered to be associated with ‘negligence’ on part of the treating doctors.

A source said as many as four to five IUD cases were being reported at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital due to delay in initiating delivery process.

He said most of such complaints were related to some doctors of Gyne Unit-I and Gyne-Unit-II of the hospital.

According to the source, four IUDs occurred on June 23 this year but the hospital management hushed up it to avoid families’ reaction. Following the deaths, the hospital’s senior management removed Emergency Director Dr Anjum Jamal from the post instead of launching a probe to dig out facts, he added.

The mothers of the four infants who died were identified as Sumaira Siddique (registration No 190521), Sumavya (No 191407), Swaira Asif (registration No 191057) and Shamim Liaqat. The source said all the IUDs occurred in the cases handled by Gyne Unit-II doctors.

Quoting from the hospital documents, the source said these women had timely reached the healthcare facility with live babies and without previous history of any complicated disease. The deaths of their babies occurred despite the fact that the women had undergone the real-time ultra-sonography process for diagnosis of IUD, if any.

He said the investigation into the IUD cases could help identify the risk factors and streamline preventive and management protocols.

Around 2,000 patients, including women with gyne-related problems, visit the emergency department of the facility daily where 50 to 60 deliveries take place everyday. He alleged that at the behest of hospital’s senior management, junior staff was ignoring IUD cases so that the issue could be hushed up.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital chief executive Dr Fakhar Imam neither attended calls nor responded to the text messages by this scribe on his cell phone.

Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Fazlaur Rehman said no inquiry was required into the matter as a senior gynecologist explained to him that the deaths occurred because of some other medical reasons (and were not IUDs).

Quoting the gynecologist, Dr Fazal said though the initial symptoms and indications had suggested these cases to be IUDs but thorough examination of the treatment documents showed different findings.

“So after the gynecologist’s explanation the idea of investigation into the complaints (of four IUDs) was dropped,” the MS said.

To a question about any standard operating procedure to check such incidents, he said the doctors were already following the relevant guidelines strictly.