Darjeeling District Hospital accused of medical negligence

Darjeeling: In an alleged case of medical negligence, a pregnant woman reportedly died after giving birth to her newborn at the Darjeeling District Hospital on Saturday. Incidentally, the cardiologist gave the green signal to the woman, identified as Dipika Thami, to undergo labour even though she had a pre-existing heart condition, alleged family members.

Thami was declared dead after undergoing a cardiac arrest. Her newborn, too, couldn’t be saved, the family members added. Outraged at the death of the woman and her child, her family members later ransacked the Critical Care Unit (CCU) of the hospital.

As per sources, Thami was admitted to the hospital on January 16. Owing to her heart condition, doctors advised her to see a cardiologist who, however, allegedly told her that she was in a fine shape and shouldn’t have any complications during birth.

On Saturday night, Dipika started to undergo labour, and according to a source in the hospital, “She was fine, even as her delivery process had begun, but things quickly started to get worse. She was rushed to the CCU, where she underwent a cardiac arrest. The woman and her newborn couldn’t be saved.”

As the news of her death spread, family members and angry relatives ransacked the CCU and allegedly assaulted the doctors and other staff. One of the gynaecologists, Dr Yuden Bhutia, sustained head injuries.

Dipika’s family members alleged, “She was suffering and the doctor wasn’t around. When we requested for the doctors to be called, the nurses were very rude. Despite knowing she had cardiac problems, they tried delivering the baby normally, which caused serious complications. There was no cardiologist around. They rushed Dipika to the CCU only after the baby died. There was no attempt on their part to save the life of the baby or the mother.”

Speaking to the media, Pralay Acharya, chief medical officer, said, “A committee has been established to see if there was any negligence on the part of the hospital staff. As for the assault of our staff, we have filed a complaint with the police, they will investigate and law will take its due course.”

Meanwhile, both the patients’ relatives and the hospital authorities have filed a General Diary (GD) against each other in the nearby police station.

Dipika’s body has been sent for autopsy to the North Bengal Medical College to ascertain the exact cause of death.

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