Hospital blunders highlight health system failures

When Fathimath Sudhuna checked into ADK hospital last Friday feeling faint and dizzy, she did not expect it would cause her condition to worsen.

She was asked by a doctor to complete two medical tests: a sugar test and a cholesterol test. Her husband, Ibrahim Shaukath, took her to the hospital pathology for the tests and was asked to wait outside.

“It took a long time for her to come out – I had to ask the nurse why it was taking so long,” Shaukath said.

When she came out he asked her why it had taken so long: she replied that a nurse had given her the wrong injection.

“It was an injection that was supposed to be given to a 15 year old patient,” he said.

Fathimath’s condition deteriorated and she became unable to stand. Shaukath complained that the hospital’s management “did not take it seriously and tried to ignore it, saying it would be ‘all right’.”

”I am not saying this to harm the hospital,” he said. ”I just want to prevent it  from happening to another person.”

Managing Director of ADK Hospital Ahmed Afaal said the incident had been reported and the hospital was investigating. He said he had no information about the patient’s condition worsening after the incident, and was reluctant to speak to the media.

IGMH blunder

A person assisting with a birth at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) last week told Minivan News on condition of anonymity that surgeons had sewn one of the mother’s veins into her skin after an emergency cesarean to remove the baby.

”[The mother] told the doctors that she felt pain in the sewed area,” the assistant said, ”but the doctors did not care to look, they just said it would be all right.”

Three days later, when the woman removed the dressings on the wound, she discovered a red lump underneath.

”She ran to the hospital counter and yelled at them,” the assistant said. ”They started treating her and she was told the doctors had sewn a vein into her skin and blood was stuck in there.”

Another woman who also asked to remain anonymous told Minivan News that a doctor at IGMH had told her husband that he was a heart patient with a high risk of heart attack, and had treated him as such for two months.

Eventually the family sent him to India for medical treatment, where they found out “he did not have any problem with his heart.”

Yet another woman, who identified herself as Zainab, told Minivan News that her son, who was very weak after an attempted suicide and a motorbike accident, was sent home after a single IV.

”We begged them to keep him until he felt better,” she said, ”but they said he would be all right and told us to leave.”

She claimed that her son could not even walk when he was discharged.

Chief Executive Officer of IGMH Zubair Mohamed confirmed such cases had recently been reported to the hospital management.

”We encourage all our patients to complain at the Health Ministry when they face such problems,” Zubair said.

Zubair said everyday 99 per-cent of the patients left with no complaints.

”Doctors and nurses sometimes makes mistakes,” he said.