GANGTOK: A 36-year-old pregnant woman and her unborn baby died at the STNM Hospital in the wee hours of Friday, allegedly due to absence of an Obstetrician.

The victim, who was 8 months pregnant and due to deliver on January 24-25, had gone to the STNM Hospital with her husband for a regular check up. Some 15 hours later, she was dead.

The Sikkim Health department has, meanwhile, constituted a three-member committee to investigate the alleged negligence. The committee, which has been ordered to submit a report by January 21, includes Urban Development Secretary MT Sherpa, Health Director General and Secretary Dr. Pempa Tshering Bhutia and STNM Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. KB Gurung.

On Thursday, Ongmit Lepcha, a resident of Khamdong village in East Sikkim, allegedly came to the STNM Hospital for a regular check up with her husband Sonam Gyatso Lepcha at about 3 pm. The doctor on the scene allegedly suggested that the patient undergo ultrasound, which found that the foetus was missing heartbeat. The patient was then allegedly suggested surgery and rushed to the operation theatre.

The doctor on duty, however, had completed his scheduled shift and urged the patient and her family to wait for next shift doctor to carry out the surgery.

The deceased, a resident of Khamdong village in East Sikkim, had come to the STNM Hospital for her regular check up with her husband, some 15 hours before her death

The patient’s pre-delivery formalities were carried out, a source at STNM Hospital said. “But with the absence of the doctor in next shift, the patient opted to carry out normal delivery of her unborn foetus. She lost a lot of blood but insisted on normal delivery rather than going for C-section. We lost her this morning.”

STNM Hospital management has refused to comment on the incident, claiming that an inquiry is being conducted to probe the negligence of doctor and obstetrics department in the hospital.

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