The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Stitch, with needle inside
- Hospital gives ‘by chance’ excuse for neglect

Calcutta, Aug. 8: A broken piece of a needle was “by chance” stitched up inside a vagina during delivery at a reputable Calcutta hospital.

Mohammad Shameem of Patwarbagan Lane in central Calcutta said his wife Talat Parveen, 28, was admitted to Lady Dufferin Victoria Hospital on Monday. She had a normal delivery around 3am today and a boy was born.

Around 2.30pm, the hospital asked Shameem to shift his wife to Medical College and Hospital because a needle was inside her vagina.

Doctors at Lady Dufferin said the hospital did not have the facility to remove the broken needle.

Parveen was reeling in pain. “We took her to Medical College, but then decided to shift her to Kothari Medical Centre and Research Institute as she was in distress and we did not want to take any risk,” said Shameem.

Parveen now has a “severe infection” in her vagina, where the needle is still lodged.

An official at Kothari Medical Centre said an incision was made in the vagina to ease the baby out, which is “very common”. The needle broke when the incision was being stitched and the broken part remained inside.

“X-rays show the needle inside. Our first job is to control the infection. We’ll remove the needle once the infection is under control,” said Rajesh Chatterjee, the Kothari medical superintendent.

Tanima Mandal, the superintendent of Lady Dufferin Victoria Hospital, confirmed the incident. “A part of the needle remained inside the woman’s vagina by chance,” she said.

Parveen’s relatives demonstrated at the hospital tonight, demanding punishment for the guilty doctors. They allegedly tried to attack some hospital employees. The hospital authorities called the Muchipara police station.

The relatives lodged a complaint with police, alleging “gross medical negligence”.

“We controlled the mob before things went out of hand. We have received a complaint against the hospital and an investigation has started,” a senior police officer said.

“My sister-in-law is suffering. It’s also a great financial burden on my brother Shameem,” said Sohail Akhtar.

Shameem has an electrical goods shop. His son is with his mother now.

Bengal healthcare has time and again proven its capacity to shock. In May, an octogenarian died in a Howrah hospital after a bystander gave him an injection and he was put on an oxygen cylinder that was empty.

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