|The Darjeeling district hospital.|
Peshok tea estate resident Sumita Rai (29) was admitted at the district hospital on August 30 with labour pain. On the night of September 1, she complained of extreme pain and went into labour. Her family members alleged the nurses on duty refused to attend to her saying the pain was normal in such circumstances.
According to Sumita’s sister-in-law Sangita Tamang, who was attending on her since admission, it took a call from the doctor for the nurses to get into action. Around 7:25am on September 2, Sumita gave birth to a girl child, but half an hour later the mother was declared as dead by the nurses. The newborn though, is in good health and is in the care of her father and relatives.
Sangita alleged it was the callousness of the nurses on duty and negligence of the doctor that caused Sumita’s demise. “Sumita complained of extreme labour pain on the evening of September 1. I rushed to the nurses’ cabin, but I was told the time for delivery had not approached yet. However, unable to bear my sister-in-law’s condition, I went to the nurses’ room again, but found the door bolted from inside,” alleged Sangita.
This prompted Sangita to summon her relatives and ask them to contact the doctor who was treating the patient. “It was around one o’clock in the morning when the nurses attended on my sister-in-law after a relative of ours called the doctor. By then I had already taken my sister-in-law to the labour room,” said Sangita. She added, “I was reprimanded by the nurses every time I requested them to check my sister-in-law’s condition. Around 7:00 in the morning, Sumita was taken inside the labour room where she delivered the child. But half an hour later, the nurses said my sister-in-law was no more.”
CMOH Asit Kumar Biswas today confirmed of receiving a complaint against the concerned doctor and nurses and promised to set up an inquiry committee to investigate the incident. “The husband of the deceased has filed a complaint alleging negligence in treatment and misconduct by the nurses on duty. I have asked the hospital superintendent to submit a report by Friday morning following which we will form a three-member committee to inquire into the allegation,” said Biswas.
According to the CMOH, the District Maternity Child Health Officer (DMCHO) will head the inquiry committee that will focus on three aspects: what transpired exactly; whether there was any negligence and who was responsible for it; and how best to avert such incidents in future.
“It is important to know the facts after taking into account the versions of all parties involved. In any case, we will take strict action on the guilty based on the findings of the inquiry committee,” assured Biswas.
The CMOH said remedial measures could include a show-cause notice to the doctor and the nurses and even transfers.
Meanwhile, Samir Sharma, the doctor who was treating Sumita, refused to comment on the allegations against him when contacted. The nurses who were on duty that day could not be contacted either.