by Saima Bhat
SRINAGAR: In a shocking incident, a 36 years old female breathed her last after being operated upon for a cyst in one of her ovaries in Ahmad’s Hospital in Nowgam area on March 27 morning, family sources said.
The family of the deceased blames hospital administration for killing her due to ‘medical negligence’ but the hospital administration says the patient died of ‘cardiac arrest’.
The lady identified as Saima Majeed was married to Ghulam Qadir Tantray, a resident of Rawalpora, just three years back. A week back, one of her cousins said she underwent some tests and the doctor suggested her for surgery. She was admitted in Ahmad’s Hospital on March 26 and same evening she was scheduled to undergo surgery for a cyst that she had developed on her ovary and other blood tests, CA-125, that are in possession of Kashmir Life as well, confirmed the cyst was not malignant. She was admitted for the same under MRD number 1405.
“The surgery continued for around four hours and after that, her doctor Qazi Ashraf, who claims to be working at a government-run hospital, and Dr Laharwal, informed the family that it was a clean operation but they had to remove one of her ovaries, fallopian tube and appendix. We were aware that one of her ovaries will go but not her tube and appendix. Both the doctors left at 11 PM,” said Waseem Hassan, Saima’s cousin.
Her other cousin, Moiz Ahmad, who was accompanying the patient in the hospital said, “Whole night nobody came to see the patient, neither any doctor nor any nurse. She was kept in a ward named ICU but she shared the room with two more patients who had delivered their babies and were accompanied by 8 to 10 attendants. How is it possible that attendants will be allowed to be in an ICU?”
Next morning, as per her family, Saima was supposed to be shifted to a ward and a nurse came and asked the patient to walk. “As soon as she took two steps, she couldn’t balance herself and she fell down. In that chaos the hospital staff shifted her back to the theatre from where she was referred to SMHS hospital,” says Moiz.
One of her aunts had asked the hospital administration that she will accompany her in the ambulance. “But they did not allow her. It was just a van, like another vehicle with a first aid kit.”
He adds, “We also rushed in our private vehicles to the SMHS hospital where she was declared brought dead at 8.58 am.”
On the fourth day of Saima’s mourning, her family members went to the hospital for knowing the cause of her death. “But the hospital administration was changing their statements. First, they were saying she was suffering from cancer and now they are saying she died of cardiac disease as claimed by the doctors,” said Mansoor Ahmad, another cousin of Saima.
“When the hospital does not have any specialised post-operative system then how did they operate upon on such a patient, if at all she was a cancer patient? The hospital authorities are responsible for her death,” he said.
When contacted Haseeb Mughal, the SSP Srinagar, he said, “There is a magisterial enquiry going on in the case. I cannot comment over the issue, let the magistrate find out the truth.”
But as per sources in the concerned police station so far no FIR has been registered. “The body has been buried already but a preliminary investigation has been started and if the team finds out the death has happened due to the medical negligence then only an FIR will be registered.” He adds, “Investigation will take time.”
Kashmir Life tried repeatedly to contact the hospital administration but the phone number on their website was not working.
“In 2005 my cousin delivered a baby in the hospital and she was medically normal but after surgery, the doctor had given her deep wound and she had continuous bleeding and unfortunately she could not survive,” said Shibani, a resident of Rangret Rawalpora.
Reportedly there have been a few more deaths in the hospital after which the hospital remained closed for some time but then they managed to open it again.
PS: The story has been slightly edited as one of the accused doctors was not found to be associated with any government-run hospital.