'Negligence' turns newborn motherless
It was a boy for Suparna Dey.
When the 28-year-old became pregnant after seven years, the family were elated.
She and her husband already had a girl and the three were looking forward to welcome the new addition to their family.
But little did the young mother know the joy of motherhood would not last long for her due to an alleged negligence in treatment at the same hospital she gave birth to her son. The “negligence” would end up costing her life.
According to the family members, the housewife was admitted to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) during the last week of March.
The resident of Gosail Danga in the port city underwent a caesarean section (c-section) at the hospital's gynaecology ward on March 27.
She was discharged from the hospital after five days. The jovial couple soon returned home along with the baby boy.
But she started feeling pain in her abdomen after a couple of days. Worried, her husband, Pranab Dey, a cable operator, took her to a gynaecologist in the city on April 17.
Dr Shraboni Barua, the gynaecologist, advised her to undergo an ultra-sonogram test instantly, which she did.
When the doctor looked at the test results, she noticed presence of a “foreign object” [a metal substance of 12cm] in the report. She also advised her to get admitted to CMCH immediately.
“We took her to CMCH again on April 18 but she was left without any treatment at the [gynaecology] ward. She was transferred to the surgery ward the next day,” alleged Mrianl Kanti Dey, her brother-in-law.
“Afterwards, they shifted her back to the gynaecology ward again the next day,” he added.
“We lodged a written complaint to the deputy director of CMCH on April 21 over negligence in treatment,” he said.
“As a result, the officials at the [gynaecology] ward became angry and started misbehaving with us,” he alleged. “Even the ultra-sonogram report which was inside Suparna's file went missing.”
Meanwhile, her condition continued to deteriorate. She lost the battle for life around 1:30am yesterday. According to the family, negligence of doctors and staff is responsible for her untimely death.
Suparna Nandi, one of her relatives, said hearing about Suparna's condition, she rushed to CMCH on April 19 and found her lying on the floor at the gynaecology ward.
“When I tried to capture her plight with my cell phone, the ward staff stopped me and misbehaved,” she alleged. “How can medical professionals be so cruel?”
This correspondent also spoke with Dr Shraboni Barua, the gynaecologist Suparna saw after her delivery.
“After looking at the report, I found something inside her abdomen. It might have been abscess or gauge or simply puss. That's why I advised them to admit her to CMCH,” she said.
Contacted, Brig Gen Jalal Uddin, director of CMCH, said he did not know about Suparna or what happened to her. “I would look into the matter,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
On the other hand, when asked the same day, Prof Dr Shahanara Chowdhury, head of the gynaecology department at CMCH, said the director (of CMCH) has asked her to look into an allegation of negligence in treating Suparna Dey some three days ago.
“Accordingly, I asked Dr Sharmila Barua, in-charge of gynaecology ward unit-III, about the matter and she told me that there was no foreign body inside the patient's abdomen.”
“There were post operative infections and she was under treatment at the ward,” she added. “You may talk to Dr Sharmila,” she suggested.
Contacted, Dr Sharmila said there was parietal abscess (a localised collection of pus) inside the patient's abdomen and she was provided a “proper treatment”.
When asked, why the ultra-sonogram report was missing from the file, she said she did not know about it. This correspondent also inquired why Suparna was referred to the surgery ward once she was admitted to the gynaecology ward and why they did not conduct an immediate operation on her.
In reply, Dr Sharmila said they needed an expert opinion from the surgery ward and “it was done for the welfare of the patient”.
This newspaper also contacted Suparna's husband over the phone. He was too distraught to talk. Suparna was cremated at her village home in Banshkhali upazila in the afternoon.