Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court has expressed serious concerns about a recent incident in Jogulamba Gadwal district wherein a woman and her newborn child died due to alleged medical negligence and asked the state government to ensure that while fighting coronavirus, other emergencies like pregnancies are not ignored in hospitals.
The incident happened on happened on April 24 when the pregnant woman was made to run around hospitals on the suspicion of being infected with Covid-19.
After moving around for about 200km and having visited six hospitals in vain, Jenila (20), a resident of Yapadine village in Gadwal district, was finally admitted at the Petlaburj Maternity Hospital in Hyderabad where she delivered her baby.
However, as both the mother and the child’s condition deteriorated, Jamila was rushed to Osmania Hospital and the newborn was taken to Niloufer Hospital. Both of them breathed their last in the respective hospitals.
Taking suo motu cognisance of a petition filed by advocate Kishore Kumar, a division bench of high court on Monday asked the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led government to file a counter-affidavit about the incident by May 20.
Stating that the woman’s ordeal was due to the government’s wrong policies during the lockdown, the advocate sought direction to the government to ensure pregnant women were given urgent care in government hospitals.
Kumar said the woman had first approached Rajoli Primary Health Centre (PHC) for delivery on April 24 but the PHC staff referred her to Gadwal District Hospital. On reaching there, the doctors asked her to go to Kurnool in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as her blood pressure was high and she was anaemic.
Since it was difficult to reach Kurnool due to lockdown, an ambulance was arranged to shift her to Mahabubnagar District Hospital, about 100 km away.
The doctors, after examining the woman at Mahabubnagar Hospital, found that her condition was critical and asked her husband to take her to Government Maternity Hospital in Hyderabad, another 100 km away.
The lawyer said when the woman was shifted to the Government Maternity Hospital, the doctors asked her first to undertake a COVID-19 test as she was coming from a hotspot.
She was shifted to Gandhi Hospital, where she was tested for Covid-19. As the test report came negative, the next day she was shifted back to Maternity Hospital, where she delivered a baby boy through cesarean section.
As the new-born had difficulty in breathing, he was taken to Niloufer Hospital, where he died the same day. As the mother's condition was also deteriorating, she was shifted to Osmania General Hospital, where she succumbed on April 27.
Jenila's husband Mahender said both his wife and child would have survived if she was provided timely medical help. He said precious time was lost as hospitals in Gadwal, Mahabubnagar and Hyderabad kept turning her away out of fear of coronavirus.
The court asked the government to issue orders to ensure proper medical services in emergency cases by making healthcare staff and ambulance at all places. The court said the coronavirus-induced lockdown should not affected emergency healthcare.
The state government has to give clear guidelines to the health authorities on how to avoid such tragedies while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the court said.
(With inputs from IANS)