IGMH accused of negligence in stillbirth

Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The baby of a young expectant mother from GDh. Thinadhoo admitted to the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) died in the womb Wednesday, sparking allegations of negligence against the hospital from the family.

A family member told Sun the 23-year-old woman had been routinely consulting with a doctor at the Tree Top Hospital ever since she fell pregnant.

The family decided to consult with an Obstetrician Gynecologist at the Hulhumale’ Hospital, who they heard was an excellent doctor.

“Tree Top said the baby was positioned too low. She was kept under observation for days before she was transferred to Hulhumale’ Hospital. By then, the low position of the baby damaged the waterbag and resulted in amniotic fluid leaks. So, a doctor stitched the places. She was kept under observation there for around 25 days. Because the hospital didn’t have a baby nursery, the doctor recommended transferring her to IGMH,” said the family member.

She was transferred to IGMH on January 29. The family said that the Hulhumale’ Hospital had informed IGMH to cut the stitches when it came time to give birth.

The woman was 25 weeks pregnant at the time.

Damages to the door to IGMH's observation room. (Sun Photo)

She began having contractions at around 01:30 am on Wednesday, nearly 10 days after she was admitted to IGMH. She was transferred from the ward to the observation room.

The family alleges the medical staff did not provide any further treatment except to administer doses of antibiotics and painkillers.

According to the family, all the beds at the observation room had been full, with just one doctor and nurse to treat them, until the afternoon.

“The only thing the doctor on duty did was to perform two cesarians. The doctor did not see any of the rest of the patients and just left,” said the family.

The family said the woman was administered an injection at around 06:00 pm Wednesday, after which the baby showed no heartbeat.

The family believes the injection directly resulted in the baby’s death.

“They administered the injection stating that the baby was premature, and that they needed to speed up the development of the baby’s organs. She began trembling and showed other reactions the moment she was administered the injection. The doctor came to check and couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat. They did a scan and found out the baby died in the womb,” said the family member.

“Hulhumale’ Hospital said that the stitches must be removed if she has contractors, and that the baby will come out naturally. But they [IGMH] failed to follow this and the baby died. And when we asked to remove the baby, they said they had only one doctor on duty. That they will perform the surgery to remove the baby once new doctors arrive for the morning shift.”

Damages to the door to IGMH's observation room. (Sun Photo)

The family said that the medical staff told them that only an infection would put the mother at risk, and that there was no sign of an infection.

However, when shift changed at midnight, the new doctors and nurses detected an infection, and transferred her to the labor room.

The baby was removed at around 04:30 am Thursday.

The death of the baby, which the woman had conceived after two years of trying, has left the family shocked and grieving.

“That was her first child. The whole family had been desperately looking forward until the very last second. The nurses here are completely clueless. They are all saying different things. There isn’t a doctor assigned to the patient,” said another family member.

The incident had led to confrontations between the family and police, resulting in damages to the door to the observation room.

IGMH said the issue had been solved following discussion with the family.

However, the family said they plan on lodging a formal complaint with the police.