Man says 9-month-old daughter suffered brain damage due to staff negligence at Karachi hospital

Updated April 15, 2019

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Father claims his infant daughter was administered the wrong injection intravenously. — AFP/File
Father claims his infant daughter was administered the wrong injection intravenously. — AFP/File

A 9-month-old girl suffered brain damage after allegedly being administered an excessive quantity of an injection at the Darul Sehat Hospital in Karachi, it emerged on Monday.

A case has been registered at Sharea Faisal police station against the administration of the hospital located in Gulistan-i-Jauhar locality on a complaint of the infant's father. It has been lodged under Sections 324, 337 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the first information report (FIR) of the case that was registered today, the incident took place when Qaiser Ali took his twin 9-month-old daughters to the hospital for treatment of diarrhoea on April 6.

On the morning of April 7, one of the two children, identified as Nashwa, was allegedly administered an overdose of potassium chloride (KCL). The infant's father stated in his complaint that the injection was supposed to be administered through a drip and not intravenously.

Minutes after she was given the injection, the child's lips turned blue and she started to have trouble breathing, Ali said. She was then taken to the intensive care unit (ICU) and was administered CPR for 45 minutes, after which her breathing was restored. She was then put on a ventilator.

Ali said after his daughter was taken off the ventilator on April 12, doctors informed him that she "may have suffered brain injury" due to the CPR performed on her for 45 minutes.

According to the FIR, a subsequent CT scan of Nashwa revealed that due to the non-provision of oxygen to her brain, the child's hands, feet, eyes and mouth have been paralysed.

Doctors told DawnNewsTV some body parts of the child are "not functioning properly" due to the damage suffered by parts of her brain.

They said the child is currently not on ventilator but is being administered oxygen after being shifted to the Liaquat National Hospital. Several tests performed on the infant will further reveal her condition after their results are received later today.

In a case summary of the incident, Dr Shahzad Alam, the executive director of Darul Sehat Hospital, stated that there is a "suspicion of KCL overdose that is under investigation".

He added that "the whole scenario is under investigation [and the] involved people will be punished."

The person identified for administering the wrong dosage of the injection has been suspended, Dr Alam said, adding that the hospital management will bear all expenses of the child's treatment "in any country or city as per required".

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the incident and asked for an inquiry report, DawnNewsTV reported.

Sindh IGP takes notices of alleged harassment of infant's father

Meanwhile, Sindh Inspector General (IG) of Police, Dr Syed Kaleem Imam, has taken notice of reports that Gulshan-e-Iqbal's superintendent of police had allegedly threatened and harassed the aforesaid infant's father.

The IGP instructed the additional inspector general Karachi to "immediately conduct a comprehensive inquiry and furnish a report that sheds light" on the allegation.


Additional reporting by Imtiaz Ali.