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Needle in abdomen after delivery

Purnima after she delivered the baby. (Maidul Islam Khan)

Chinsurah, Dec. 11: The broken portion of a needle was found in the lower abdomen of a 19-year-old woman hours after she gave birth in a government hospital in Hooghly today.

The district chief medical officer of health has ordered a probe and junior health minister Chandrima Bhattacharya has sought a report.

Purnima Dey, the wife of a small farmer in Hooghly’s Goghat, gave birth to a girl through normal delivery at the Arambagh sub-divisional hospital around 3.30am today. But a few hours after stitches were given by a nurse, Purnima complained of excruciating pain in her lower abdomen.

An X-ray revealed the broken portion of a needle.

Purnima’s husband Santanu alleged that he could not find a nurse after his wife began crying in pain.

“I felt helpless and started shouting for a doctor. After around 10 minutes, the hospital superintendent came rushing,” Santanu said.

Superintendent Nirmalya Roy said he ordered the X-ray.

“I ran to the maternity ward, alerted by Santanu’s shouts. The X-ray report showed the broken portion of a needle inside her abdomen. I referred the patient to Burdwan Medical College Hospital immediately. We don’t have the infrastructure to treat such patients,” he said.

Roy arranged for the ambulance in which Purnima, her husband and the child were taken to the Burdwan hospital, around 45km away. They reached around 3pm. Doctors operated on her to remove the needle. The baby has been kept in the hospital’s nursery.

D.B. Pan, the doctor who supervised Purnima’s delivery at the Arambagh sub-divisional hospital, declined comment.

Hospital sources said the needle used by the nurse for the stitches could have broken and entered Purnima’s abdomen. They said if proved guilty, the nurse could be sacked.

The chief medical officer of health of Hooghly, Tanima Mondal, said: “We have started an investigation.”