DADU: The death of a woman moments after she delivered her baby outside the Dadu Civil Hospital on Tuesday caused a controversy involving medical staff and relatives of the deceased woman.

An altercation between relatives of Hakeema, wife of Dhani Bakhsh, and the hospital administration took place at the hospital as the former kept insisting that treatment to her was unnecessarily delayed. The doctors and paramedics at the civil hospital claimed that the woman had already died when she was brought to the hospital. They said it was already too late when the expecting mother arrived at the hospital but her baby was alive and appeared healthy.

Ms Hakeema, 30, a resident of Wasai village, was first taken to the Khairpur Nathan Shah Taluka Hospital but had to be referred to the Dadu Civil Hospital because, according to her husband and other relatives accompanying her, no lady doctor was available at the [taluka] hospital.

A woman died upon delivering baby two days after a newborn died; both during admission procedure

When she and her relatives reached the civil hospital, the woman delivered her baby at its gate. Dhani Bakhsh got the formalities done and took his wife into the labour room but after a short while doctors declared Ms Hakeema “dead on arrival”. Necessary medical procedures to save the newborn were performed.

Civil surgeon Dr Razzak Junejo said that Ms Hakeema might have died on the way to the civil hospital. But her relatives appeared not ready to accept the claim. He also guessed that she might have died during maternity procedures at some other hospital and her relatives only took her body and baby to the civil hospital.

They insisted that she would have been saved had the hospital administration provided the treatment immediately upon her arrival considering her condition.

Dhani Bakhsh was also critical of the taluka hospital saying that it was beyond his comprehension that not a single lady doctor was available at the big health facility to attend to an expecting mother. He realised that the travel between the two hospitals caused delay in providing prompt medical treatment to his wife.

However, he insisted that the staff at the civil hospital’s administration and maternity ward also appeared lethargic causing a further delay. Much time was wasted in the admission procedure which ultimately caused the loss of her life, he alleged.

Only a couple of days back, a 30-year-old woman, Jameela Khatoon, a resident of Gul Mohammad Chandio village, was brought to the maternity ward of the Dadu Civil Hospital and while the admission procedure was under way, she delivered a baby outside the hospital.

She was sitting in an auto-rickshaw and her husband along with other relatives were desperately trying to complete the procedure. In the meantime, the woman delivered a baby in the tri-wheeler. Before any medical treatment could be given to the mother and baby, the newborn died.

Her husband, Riaz Chandio, and cousin, Gul Chandio, claimed that Jameela Khatoon was kept waiting for treatment for about half an hour which was too much time to waste in such cases. They said during the time, doctors kept arguing over whether she could be admitted or not and the patient was dying of pain.

They said the newborn died minutes after the delivery.

On his part, civil surgeon Dr Abdul Razzak Junejo claimed that the woman had delivered the baby in the rickshaw and the newborn had died before arriving at the hospital. That’s why, he added, doctors were reluctant to “admit” her but the woman was promptly provided necessary medical treatment due to her serious condition to save her life.

He argued that the family took risk of taking her to this far-off hospital instead of Shaheed Makhdoom Bilawal Hospital, Kakar Hospital and other health facilities in Khanpur which were located nearer to their village.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2019