FAISALABAD: The Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) imposed a penalty of Rs300,000 on a private hospital where a pregnant woman was paralysed allegedly because her wrong treatment and over her missing medical record.

The commission also referred the case of the hospital doctors involved in the woman’s treatment to the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).

In his complaint to the PHC, Muhammad Nazim of Bhaiwala Phattak said he had taken his pregnant niece, Fareeha Ali, 23, to the Prime Care Hospital, Madina Town, on Oct 19, 2020, for delivery.

He said Fareeha’s family paid Rs50,000 in advance and were told by the doctors at the hospital that it would be a normal delivery. The family purchased the medicine prescribed by the doctors from the hospital’s pharmacy. However, later they were told that it would be a C-section (surgery) case, he added.

Doctors cases referred to PMC

Next day (Oct 20), the woman was operated upon by Dr Sadia Khan and Dr Rauf, while Dr Tariq Rashid had given her epidural anesthesia, he said.

He said after the surgery, a baby girl was born and the mother was shifted to her room where she gained consciousness on Oct 21, but she was unable to move her legs. He said after her MRI the hospital’s management and doctors tried to force them to shift the patient to her home but the family insisted on staying there till her recovery.

He claimed that after through investigation and CT scan, it transpired that the patient had developed paraplegia because of the three injections administered in her spinal cord. She lost control over urine and stool and had to use catheter bag and enema for the purpose, he added.

On Nov 5, 2020, he said the patient suffered bursting of her intestines after which a woman doctor, instead of giving her emergency treatment, advised the family to shift her to some other hospital immediately. After five days, he said, the patient was discharged from the hospital without any improvement in her condition.

Following the complaint, the commission sought the version of the hospital administration and the doctors concerned by issuing them notices on Dec 3, 2019.

The doctors, however, claimed that no negligence was involved in the patient’s treatment. After consulting experts and hearing both sides, the PHC declared that original operation notes were “missing” from the patient’s file and subsequently duplicate notes were made, the C-section was justified, while the exact cause of the patient’s condition couldn’t be established as per her clinical notes.

“It is an established fact that after C-section and administration of the epidural anesthesia the young girl became paralysed, yet how far the doctors are responsible [for it] is for the PMC to decide. Therefore, cases of Dr Rauf and Dr Tariq Rashid be sent to PMC for proceedings in accordance with law.”

In the inspection conducted on June 8 last, the hospital’s score on MSDS table was only 37 per cent which is unacceptable, it was stated.

The commission imposed Rs300,000 penalty on the hospital while 20 per cent of the amount would be paid to the complainant, while the hospital administration was asked to improve it’s score up to 70 per cent.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2021

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