Punjab: Woman gives birth on govt hospital floor after staff refuse to heed her cries for help

Divya Goyal
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Amandeep Kaur kept writhing in pain beginning Wednesday evening. She delivered the child at 5am Thursday. (Express photo)

A woman delivered her baby on the floor at Dr Mathra Das Pahwa Civil Hospital in Moga in early hours Thursday, after on-duty hospital staff allegedly refused to take her inside labour room saying that she “isn’t yet prepared for the delivery”.

Amandeep Kaur’s family and even attendants with other patients alleged that even as she kept screaming in pain for hours beginning Wednesday evening and kept walking till labour room for help, the staff on duty allegedly kept turning her away saying that her delivery will happen only in morning. According to her family, around 5 am Thursday, she delivered the baby on the floor in the lobby.

According to family, there wasn’t a single doctor present on night duty and one staff nurse along with two ‘helpers’ (including a Class-IV employee) were attending the patients in labour.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Amandeep’s mother-in-law, Swaran Kaur from village Baje Ke of Dharamkot in Moga, said, “Since 4 pm on Wednesday evening, my daughter-in-law was under immense pain. We kept telling staff inside labour room that Amandeep isn’t well but they kept turning her away and said delivery will be done only in morning. Some of nurses were also sleeping inside on beds. Amandeep kept screaming in pain but no one bothered. Soon her water bag broke and she passed urine and also defecated there near visitors chair in lobby. I went to take her fresh clothes. In the meantime, she gave out final screams and delivered baby boy on the floor at around 5 am. Another woman who was present there held her baby and saved his head from banging on the floor. It was only after baby was delivered that nurses came out running from inside and detached the umbilical cord and took them inside.”

Asked about doctors present on duty, she said, “There was no doctor but just staff nurses and helpers.”

After the delivery, Amandeep said: “I kept screaming and shouting in pain that I need help but staff on duty did not listen to us. Finally, I collapsed on floor and delivered. This should not happen with any other woman.”

Manisha, an attendant with another patient who was present at the spot throughout Wednesday night till Thursday morning, said that soon after Amandeep delivered the baby, another patient collapsed on floor and was rushed inside labour room only after that.

“The way Amandeep was screaming in pain, we thought hospital staff must be aware of the emergency but they kept turning her away....When we started questioning them and asked how staff inside was sleeping when patients were screaming in pain outside, they asked us to keep quiet and not make videos,” said Manisha.

Meanwhile, Gagandeep Kaur, the staff nurse who was on duty in labour room, denied the allegation the patient was denied entry into labour room due to negligence of staff. “We were only three people on duty including one Class -IV employee and I had three other patients. There are only three beds in labour room....I had given her medicines and a bed outside in the gynae ward but suddenly she felt pressure to relieve herself. As she went to urinate, her pains intensified and she collapsed on floor. We went there immediately and took care of baby and mother,” she said.

She added that doctor wasn’t present when the delivery happened, adding that she had ‘called’ senior gynecologist Dr Manisha Gupta earlier. “She was on her way. I had called her to inform about patients,” said the nurse. About the other patient who collapsed outside labour room, she said, “She suddenly developed pains and laid on the floor outside labor room. We immediately took her inside and her delivery did not happen outside. Other attendants started making videos and misbehaved with us. We then told them to maintain patient’s privacy.”

Dr Rajesh Attri, senior medical officer (SMO), Civil Hospital, Moga claimed that all patients were given proper care and there was no negligence. “The patient Amandeep Kaur had sudden pressure to urinate due to which she moved out of bed and then delivery happened. Patients are taken to labour room only when they are ready for delivery not before as we have only three beds inside.”

He also denied allegations that staff was sleeping inside. “Eight deliveries were done from 8 pm to 8 am during that period,” he said. Asked why doctor was missing, he added, “She was on her way. During night duties, doctors are called and informed if case of emergency..”