NEW DELHI: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) suspended five doctors — three senior residents and two junior residents — on Sunday in a case of alleged medical negligence which led to the death of one of its own staff and pitted the unions of nurses and resident doctors against each other.
Rajbir Kaur, 28, a nursing officer with AIIMS’ medicine department, was declared dead on Saturday after being on ventilator support for three weeks. She was admitted to the hospital’s obstetrics and gynaecology unit for delivery on January 16. Her family members and colleagues claim that hours before delivery, doctors found out that the he art beat of the fetus was slow, indicating a threat to the life of the unborn child. An emergency caesarean section planned to deliver the baby was delayed, the family claimed, as the anesthetist arrived late.
“When the surgery took place finally , the child was stillborn and Kaur suffered a massive cardiac arrest during the procedure. Doctors were able to revive heart function by giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) then but Kaur slipped into coma thereafter,” Harish Kumar Kajla, president of AIIMS nursing union, told TOI. He also alleged that Kaur was given excessive medication to induce labour and this led to duce labour and this led to serious complications -a charge denied by the hospital. “We have formed a fact-finding committee headed by medical superintendent Dr D K Sharma to look into the matter. The preliminary report will be submitted within 48 hours following which action will be taken if negligence is proved,” AIIMS spokesperson Dr Amit Gupta said. He added that three senior residents from obstetrics and gynaecology department and two junior residents from anesthesia department had been suspended with immediate effect pending inquiry.
Meanwhile, the resident doctors’ association (RDA) has protested the suspensions and threatened to go on strike. “We strongly condemn this action and urge the administration to withdraw the suspension order immediately, failing which residents will be forced to withhold all patient care with immediate effect,” Dr Vijay Gurjar, president of AIIMS RDA, said.
Earlier in the day, more than 500 nursing officers of AIIMS protested outside the director’s office alleging medical negligence in the case and demanding action against those guilty. Many of them remained off-duty, which affected patient services. “The doctors did not monitor Kaur’s condition properly which led to delayed diagnosis of slow heartbeat and necessitated emergency caesarean section,” said a nursing staffer protesting outside the director’s office. She claimed that many nurses who were on leave had come from home to join the protests.
“We lost one of our colleagues due to the negligence of the doctors. We want those involved to be acted upon.Such negligence cannot and should not be ignored,” said another AIIMS staff.