‘Was scared to look at my baby,' Kerala woman who delivered in a hospital bathroom

The baby fell into the commode when Sheena attempted to pass urine during labour.
‘Was scared to look at my baby,' Kerala woman who delivered in a hospital bathroom
‘Was scared to look at my baby,' Kerala woman who delivered in a hospital bathroom
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When 32-year old Lipikumar -a native of Malappuram- got his wife Sheena admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital at Manjeri on 30 December, the couple was eagerly looking forward to the birth of their first child nearly four years after marriage.

But the next day saw 24-year-old Sheena too traumatized to even look at her newborn, after she delivered a baby boy in the hospital bathroom, with no medical staff present.

Even though the Gynaecology Department had two nurses on duty (no doctor at the time) none were available to administer any medical help to the acutely distressed mother and her newborn. 

Speaking to The News Minute, Sheena tries to recall the agonizing trail of events that led to her infant being admitted to the ICU:

“When I complained of labour pain at around 8 pm on 31 December, the two nurses on duty insisted that the pain would go away, once I urinate. My mother and aunt then took me to the bathroom. The pain was so severe that I was unable to sit on the commode. As I made a second attempt, the baby fell into the commode,” Sheena recounts, the horror still fresh in her mind.

It took her nearly an hour or so, before she saw her baby for the first time: “I was too traumatized to even look at the baby. All I saw was my mother rushing towards me, taking the baby out of the closet and rushing out. There was blood all over the place. I was then taken to the labour room. The next thing I remember is them bringing the baby to me for feeding.”

Sheena's family alleges that the doctor arrived at the hospital only an hour after the incident. Lipikumar says that it was the by-standers of other patients who got hold of a stretcher for Sheena to be taken to the labour room. 

The family has lodged a complaint with the state Chief Minister, Health Minister, SC/ST Board and the Human Rights Commission alleging medical negligence, based on which state Health Minister KK Shylaja demanded a report from the hospital authorities. 

But even after five days, there has reportedly been no action taken against those responsible for the same. 

"It was only two days after we filed a complaint that the hospital superintendent recorded our statement. We believe they are in the process of furnishing a favourable report in order to hide such negligence. The hospital authorities may not have anticipated that we would file an official complaint…since we are Dalits," feels Lipikumar. 

The superintendent has submitted an inquiry report to the Medical College principal, who told The News Minute that one lady attendant who was found to have misbehaved with the patient was terminated from service. He refused to comment further on the matter. 

Sheena's family however plans to file another complaint with the hospital superintendent, urging officials to take action against all the errant staff-members. The Manjeri police said that a case is yet to be filed against the hospital authorities. 

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