The Delhi Medical Council, that oversee the action to be taken against doctors for negligence has said that there were procedural lapses, not medical negligence, at Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh where one of the twins prematurely born was wrongly declared dead last year.
Last year on November 30, a 20-year-old woman delivered twin foetuses in the hospital in the 23rd week (or five months) of her pregnancy.
It was a girl and a boy, the hospital declared the girl dead immediately after birth while the boy was said to be critical.
At 12:30 pm the duty doctor could not find a heartbeat and had asked a senior to take a look. However, by the time the senior came, the bodies had been handed over to the family.
The babies(foetuses) had been wrapped in clean white sheets, as per protocol. The family requested for the poly-bags for the ease of carrying. On their way to perform last rites, the family noticed movement in one of the packets. On opening it, they found that the boy was breathing and took him to hospital. The family also registered a case of medical negligence against the hospital.
The committee investigating the case found that although a doctor had declared one of the twins dead, one hour later the nurse on duty had handed over both the bodies to the parents.
“There have been procedural lapses and inadequate documentation which is probably due to absence of standard operating guidelines when managing such cases (cases of birth before 24 weeks of gestation),” the order said.
The babies were not admitted to the hospital neonatal intensive care unit, as per the directions of the family.
The DMC found that there was no formal declaration of death for one of the twins as there was some heartbeat for nearly four to five hours.
“In the present instance, the decision for management of the baby was as per the existing guidelines by the treating doctors. In light of the observations made, the decision of the disciplinary committee is that no medical negligence can be attributed on part of the doctors,” the DMC said in its order.
The Delhi government in December last year had cancelled the licence of the hospital following this case, after terming the hospital to be a “habitual offender”.
The doctors have been exonerated of the negligence but certainly their career and reputation has already taken the hit.
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