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April 16, 2019

Private hospital’s admin booked as ‘wrong’ treatment leaves toddler paralysed

Karachi

April 16, 2019

Police on Monday registered a case of attempt to murder against the administration of one of the private hospitals in Karachi over wrong medication given to a toddler.

An FIR No 354/19 under the sections 324 and 337/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code which pertain to ‘attempt to murder’ and ‘negligence’, was registered against the administration of the Darul Sehat Hospital in Gulistan-e-Jauhar within the limits of the Sharea Faisal police station.

The case was registered against the hospital on behalf of Qaiser Ali after his nine-month-old baby girl, Nashwa, was paralysed after being administered a wrong injection.

“We have registered the case against the administration of the hospital as they hired untrained staff due to which my daughter was paralysed,” Ali said, talking to The News.

He said he brought his twin daughters to the hospital on April 6 to treat diarrhoea, adding that one of his daughters was released from the hospital the next day while the other daughter remained admitted to the hospital due to wrong treatment by untrained nursing staff at the hospital.

“My daughter was paralysed after they (hospital staff) put my daughter on a ventilator for over a week and then removed her from the machine on early Sunday morning,” the father explained. “The hospital’s staff injected my daughter with an incorrect dosage of a medicine due to which her condition turned critical.”

The family later shifted the girl to another private hospital located on the National Stadium Road on Monday. “The doctors here at Liaquat National Hospital conducted her CT scan and MRI and her treatment is under way and she is still in critical condition,” he said.

“I want justice and will go to any platform for justice so that it cannot happened with anyone else in the future,” the father said. The family also alleged that Gulshan-e-Iqbal Division SP Tahir Noorani pressurise them into not registering any case against the hospital administration.

However, SP Noorani, in a video statement, denied such allegations against him. “This is a wrong allegation against me,” the officer claimed, adding that despite his efforts, he could not meet the victim’s father.

“The media was highlighting the news the entire day on Sunday while quoting the father of the victim saying that the police were not cooperating with them. We sent the SHO and DSP to the hospital but there were political people there. Later I also visited the hospital on the directives of the SSP but I was not allowed to meet the father,” SP Noorani maintained. He added that the police assured the family of their full cooperation by registering a case and arresting the responsible persons.

Sharea Faisal SHO Safdar Mashwani said the police had registered a case against the hospital administration. “It is an open FIR. No person is nominated in the FIR but the FIR is registered just against the administration,” he explained.

“Now we are gathering the data of the hospital staff who were on duty at the time when the victim was given wrong medication and then the arrests would be made,” the SHO said.

SHCC takes action

The Sindh Healthcare Commission (SHCC) also launched an inquiry after it received a complaint about the nine-month old girl suffering irreparable brain damage due to wrong administration of an intravenous injection at Darul Sehat Hospital, adds M. Waqar Bhatti.

The complaint was registered with the SHCC by the girl’s father who accused the hospital of criminal negligence. “Today we have received a formal complaint from the father of the baby girl, Nashwa, against Darul Sehat Hospital where the patient was under treatment and we have started our course of investigation to ascertain if any malpractice or negligence was committed by the hospital staff that endangered the life of the patient”, said Dr Minhaj Qidwai, the SHCC chief executive officer (CEO), while speaking to The News.

As the baby girl was battling for life at Liaquat National Hospital where she was later shifted for the treatment of brain damage and other complications, the health department and the SHCC started their investigations into the alleged negligence on Darul Sehat Hospital’s part.

“We are in a process of constituting a technical committee of experts that would inquire into the alleged negligence by the hospital staff, following the complaint lodged by the patient’s father,” Dr Qidwai said, adding that the investigation would commence on Tuesday (today).

The SHCC CEO added that the commission’s staff would also simultaneously start an inspection to ascertain whether the hospital fulfilled the requirements of SHCC’s licencing.

“Both the processes, the inspection of the hospital for the issuance of provisional licence and the investigation into alleged negligence and malpractice would be carried out simultaneously,” Dr Qidwai said, adding that the hospital was already registered with the SHCC but had not acquired the provisional licence from the authority.

Meanwhile, the father of the ill-fated child told media persons that he had not only lodged an FIR against the private hospital but also lodged a complaint with the SHCC as her child feared a possible paralysis for the rest of her life due to criminal negligence of the nursing staff of the hospital.

He said he was approaching every forum to lodge a complaint so that strong action could be taken against such facilities that were killing and causing irreparable damage to the health of patients, especially young children.

What went wrong?

Being treated for diarrhoea and vomiting for the last several days, nine-month old Nashwa was given an injection of potassium chloride (KCl) in a concentrated form ‘in a push’, claimed the father, saying the medicine had to be given in a period of 24 hours through intravenous solution but the malpractice resulted in irreparable damage to the baby’s brain.

“An untrained nursing attendant gave her lethal dose of KCL injection and she suffered a heart attack. They resuscitated her and put onto the ventilator but the drug caused irreparable loss to her brain. She is now being treated at Liaquat National Hospital by a paediatric neurologist,” Ali said.

Darul Sehat Hospital Executive Director Shahzad Alam said the baby was administered the KCL injection by a staff member and they had suspended the person after she suffered pulmonary-cardiac arrest. “We are also investigating the way and manner in which the KCL injection was administered to the baby girl.”

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