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Rights panel comes to mother’s rescue
Patient Minati Mallick. Telegraph picture

Kendrapara, June 22: Negligence on part of the surgeons, who had forgotten to remove a gauze pad and cotton materials while carrying out a child delivery surgery at Kendrapara District Headquarters Hospital, has drawn attention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The rights panel, taking cognisance of a petition in this regard, has directed state government agencies for compliance of a showcause reply on the alleged discrepancy in treatment.

The incident that had led to a public outcry was highlighted in The Telegraph on April 26, 2011.

T. Duryodhana Reddy, a Berhampur-based human rights activist, had earlier sought the commission’s intervention in the matter and demanded initiation of penal action against the errant doctors. “As the state health authorities are sitting over the matter despite the “criminal” negligence on part of the “whimsical” surgeons, the rights panel should arbitrate the matter to undo the injustice done to a poor woman,” Reddy observed in a petition to the commission.

Minati Mallick (26) from Mahakalpada area was admitted to the maternity ward of Kendrapara district headquarters hospital on April 21. As she had complained of labour pain, she was shifted to the operation theatre in the evening. She gave birth to a boy after a minor surgery. On medical advice, the mother and the newborn were discharged from the hospital the next day.

Post-discharge Minati had developed excruciating pain in her abdomen.

Her lower limbs and abdomen showed signs of swelling. Later, the foreign materials were stuffed out from her body at a government-run hospital in Jagatsinghpur district.

In another development, the state health services directorate, acting on the commission’s directions, asked the chief district medical officers of both Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts for expeditious compliance report on the alleged medical error.

“The foreign stuff was removed after the patient had been admitted to the Kujang Community Health Centre. It was a slip-up that might have been inadvertently committed by the surgeons at Kendrapara District Headquarters Hospital,” said Rabi Narayan Das, chief district medical officer of Jagatsinghpur.

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