Doctor’s Negligence Case – IMA Clarifies

Doctor’s Negligence Case – IMA Clarifies

Udupi: Shruthi died of postpartum hemorrhage and not because of doctors negligence said IMA, Udupi in a press statement issued by the IMA Bhavan.

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The death of a mother at the time of “childbirth” is really the worst thing that can happen to anyone. Yes, the medical fraternity also joins the family of the deceased in their grief. At the same time, we notice that an experienced senior “lady” doctor is being unfairly targeted by some sections of media and social network without knowing the actual facts. So, IMA Udupi, Karavali is issuing this press note to clarify our views.
The said delivery took place in one of the well-equipped secondary care centers for delivery, at the hands of a qualified, experienced, well-known obstetric surgeon.

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The said doctor attends the said patient admitted during the day at 11:00 pm when the patient had gone into labour. The doctor tried her best for normal delivery, but as the doctor noticed that the baby’s heartbeat had slowed down, she decided to go for a caesarean section. She called for a child specialist and an anesthetist to attend the delivery after consulting the parents.
After successful delivery, the doctor notices excessive bleeding. The Doctor, after consulting with the patient’s parents decides to shift the patient to higher medical center, KMC, Manipal as she feels, the patient will require a massive blood transfusion. The patient is shifted to KMC, Manipal where she dies three hours after admission. The family of the deceased cremate the body without postmortem, even though they were advised for a post-mortem. After a lapse of 5 days, the same family decides to lodge a complaint alleging medical negligence on the part of the doctor. Social networks and a section of print and visual media have been disseminating malicious, biased and unscientific things like ‘doctor has cut a “blood-nerve”, doctor killed the patient’ without ascertaining the facts and showing the doctor in a negative light.
Indian Medical Association, Udupi Karavali, with the help of senior obstetricians has taken stock of the situation and would like to state the following facts to clear the doubts in the minds of the public.
Bleeding after delivery is an expected complication of every delivery. It is an unusual but known “Medical complication” The said death occurred as a result of postpartum hemorrhage. Postpartum hemorrhage is a medical complication, where a mother loses a significant volume of blood within a short period because of various reasons after delivery. The most common cause is a poor contraction of the uterus following childbirth. The incidence of PPH in India is 2 – 6 % after the delivery. In India, PPH contributes to staggering 30 to 40 % of all maternal death and 45% of the maternal death occurs within 24 hrs of childbirth. When PPH happens it is a serious condition where the patient can go into shock, organ failure and death in spite of best medical management.
The said doctor noticed that blood was not clotting and immediately, within thirty minutes has shifted the patient and child to higher center, KMC, along with a supportive medical team comprising a doctor and 2 nurses, for emergency transfusion and necessary treatment after due intimation to the duty doctor at KMC Manipal.
IMA does not see any negligence on the part of the doctor. The allegations of vessels being cut are totally false, malicious and unfounded. We request the public not to believe in malicious messages and facebook and Whatsapp shares.
As a disheartening development, secondary to this death certain fringe elements in society, self-declared custodians of patients’ rights are threatening the doctor of dire consequences. IMA sees this as a very bad development. We CONDEMN such rage responses. We have already apprised the police authorities of this. We will, in no uncertain terms, tolerate this sort of tactics and will deal with it firmly as per the law of the land.
We bring to your notice that unscrupulous comments and responses will demoralise the already “overworked” doctors and affect the society in routine medical practice. At the same time IMA and said doctor will not shy away from the legal trial as per law of the land. In fact, we encourage patients and relatives knocking the doors of statutory bodies like the medical council or court of law. But we decisively denigrate medias one-sided trial. We request the public to understand that no doctor worth his salt would kill a patient or do harm to a patient in his professional career.
we sympathize with the bereaved family and pray for the wellbeing of the deceased’s child. But at the same time, we express solidarity with lady doctor who has been working for the welfare of society selflessly for the past 25years, who is being subjected to mental torture and disrepute harming her professional interest which is unbecoming of civilized society. We request media an important part of Indian democracy to publish true facts and help us to preserve the trust between patient and doctor which is an important part of the curative process.
Dr Geetha president IMA Udupi, Dr Vasudev Secretary, Dr P V Bhandary and Dr Sathish Kamath were present in the press meet.

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8 Comments

  1. I read in another report that baby was big in size. Why did the obstetrician did not plan a elective cesarean section? Was there an autopsy performed? Was there a tear or perforation of the uterus? Did the doctor failed or was not skilled enough to stop the bleeding? What did the doctor do to stop the post partum bleeding?
    Family needs answers and explanations.

    • The treatment for PPH is uterine artery embolization for which the doctor might have shifted her to a higher Centre as it is not available everywhere.

  2. Excellent statement of facts by IMA UDUPI-KARAVALI.

    The unfortunate habit of people pointing fingers at well-meaning doctors will only result in doctors subconsciously taking a defensive attitude with every patient. This will mean more unnecessary referrals, more unnecessary tests as you never know when you will be called “negligent” for not doing that test or referring to that specialist.

    The “cream” of students take up Medicine as their profession. Why will they “kill” a defenseless patient? If such baseless allegations become common, good students will never join Medicine, and even if they join, they will leave the country. That will result in only goons, who are brave and brazen enough to fight these, becoming doctors. Instead of fighting diseases, they will be always ready fight with patients and their relatives and “friends”.

    People, please remember that most doctors who are working here, in spite of having better pbetter job options in other countries, are not in this profession to make more money.

    Unfortunately, the people responsible this irresponsible allegation will probably never read this.

  3. My mother and my eldest sister gave birth to 11 and 8 children respective. All the deliveries took place at home and all the kids have survived except on who died with chocking at the age of two. All we had some help from elderly woman from our neighborhood.

    Is it necessary to go to the hospital for the delivery? Childbirth is natural process. Even in the USA people do not go to the hospital and deliver babies in the bath tub. My former neighbor did it because of her religious belief.

    I agree that media should refrain from reporting news that scandalizes the Doctor unless there is prima-facie negligence. The trust between doctor and the patient is very essential for all kind of medical services.

    Do we need to go to the hospital for delivering the baby? Try at home the old fashioned way.

  4. Dear Lawrence each and every case is different… You cannot compare one patient with other.if all cases were straight forward there would not hve been so many specialities in respective fields. Even with old fashioned way
    Many have lost life or hve lost kids which are unnoticed due to lack of media or social sites.

  5. “Working for the society selflessly for the past 25 years” does not necessarily exonerate the doctor of doing anything unethical. In the absence of postmortem report the local body of IMA giving a clean chit in a matter of days to the doctor does not quite cut it. No turkey will ever vote for Christmas. In the West such investigations take months if not years, so how can anyone accept this verdict reached within a week and put this episode behind? How can IMA recommend to have a legal process to be tried in the court while there is no postmortem report? How convenient is it to blame the relatives for not carrying out the postmortem?

    First of all the authorities should establish whether this hospital has a big loan to repay? If that’s the case, then that most certainly can unduly influence the behaviour of any doctor when discharging their duties. At the end of the day they have an instalment to pay to the lender and lenders won’t care regardless of the underlying problem. This obviously forces the borrower (the doctor or the management) to think in terms of maximising revenue for the hospital. JMJ Diagnova was shutdown for financial reasons couple of decades ago in Udupi despite being fully occupied all the time. Apparently the loans taken out to build it were disproportional to the cash flow (there could have been other reasons too). Can anyone verify whether this hospital is in similar situation? If it is true, then a full financial audit should be done for every hospital in the region and then the medical authority has to carry out their own auditing about the practice in the last 5 years if those hospitals are in poor financial health. That will definitely shed some light into this issue.

    If unusual but excessive bleeding is a known problem in medicine, then why wasn’t this hospital equipped with the necessary facilities to deal with such a not-so-uncommon occurrence in a timely manner? Why did the regulators not find out about this while granting permission? Once the situation goes out of control even an hour (which would have taken for the patient to reach Manipal) would have made a difference between life and death.

    Last thing to find out is why was the postmortem not insisted upon by KMC when it was an unnatural death. Regardless of the relatives’ wish, isn’t there a legal requirement to carry it out to legally acknowledge what really happened? People can argue based on technicalities of the law but KMC should not have released the body before doing an autopsy.

    I am not questioning the personal integrity of every doctor and I am sure they would not have gone into the profession with an intention to do any harm to their patients but the ground reality where they work may be entirely different. Perhaps they are forced to do certain things at the insistence of their employer/partners. It happens in business all the time so it is imperative to find out.

    People’s anger (mainly the relatives and friends of the deceased) in media and social networking is palpable. There is no necessity to paint them as anti-social or fringe elements. Only relatives understand the pain of losing one of their own. A life lost never comes back no matter what. It was a natural outburst of simmering discontent among the people built up over the last couple of decades all owing to the questionable practices carried out by many of these mini-hospitals in our coastal region. There are far too many cases to brush this incident under the carpet.

    Again, I would like to clarify, my views above are not necessarily an expression of angst towards doctors in general. It’s mainly about the over-commercialisation of the profession of medicine, especially when it comes the questionable practices of these ill-equipped mini-hospitals in our twin districts (again not all mini-hospitals, but most of them).

  6. what does a blood nerve mean,,, such illiterates would be ready 24into7 giving such hopeless statements blaming doctors without knowing the facts, media must watch their words before they utter, due to your irresponsible act, the goodwill and social status of the treating doctor is hampered, can you give it back, are you ready to republish in your paper saying your apologies??
    you should understand that even doctors are humans like us, even after 100 percent efforts sometimes, things can go out of their hands, why are only doctors blamed and highlighted when things dont happen as expected, why not any other bureaucrats, lawyers, politicians,,, due to ur moronic acts, people even aiiming to be a doctor are developing hatred and stepping back seeing how a doctor is treated in the society.

  7. If my memory serves right, Dr Satish Kamat in the photo above was my student at Bellary medical college a couple do decades ago and while he was working as a house surgeon he donated blood to a hotel worker who was being treated for vomiting blood. This act was spontaneous born out of empathy. This would have remained unknown to anyone had not my journalist friend reported it in his paper. It is not one such single act of empathy doctors have for their patients but there are countless such acts. They remain unreported and unknown and only these unfortunate instances come into public scrutiny. I have quoted this instance though it is not immediately related to the report to make my point.

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