Probe into maternity death in Lawngtlai

Aizawl, 11 May (UNI): The government has initiated a "magisterial inquiry" into the maternity death in a government hospital in Lawngtlai town in southern Mizoram, after the grieving husband of the deceased filed an FIR with the local police station demanding an independent probe.

The magisterial inquiry is led by Lawngtlai district deputy commissioner.With a strong back-up by the people of Lawngtlai, Lallianmawia yesterday filed the FIR demanding to find out the exact cause of the death of his wife Lalhmunliani, 21, who died at Lawngtlai Civil Hospital on May 1, following a miscarriage.

He submitted the FIR after a protest rally was held at the Lawngtlai district headquarters against the hospital's "negligence that caused the death of the mother and her baby."Residents of the College Veng locality in Lawngtlai, under the aegis of the district's largest NGO, Young Lai Association, on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding the government to find out those responsible behind the maternity death and give them appropriate punishment and an ex-gratia to the bereaved family. The rally also strongly condemned the "baseless" clarification issued by the chief medical officer of the hospital on the death.

They also demanded "equal treatment" of the poor and the rich people in the government hospital. Lallianmawia alleged that his pregnant wife did not receive proper care and treatment since the time, she was admitted to the hospital, she was subjected to neglect from doctors and nurses.He said that he brought her to the civil hospital around 6:00pm on April 30 as she complained of labour pain.

However, she was sent back home as the nurses said she was fine and that she was not yet ready for delivery. When the pain worsened, they went to Lai Christian Medical Centre where the doctors found that her cervix was opening up. As the hospital did not have equipment, they told them to go back to the civil hospital. As advised, they went back to the civil hospital but only to receive the same answer.

The nurses said she could be admitted if she insisted so. While she was admitted. Her pain grew from bad to worse. But there was still no attention from the nurses. When she finally delivered a baby around 0840 hrs on May 1, the baby was not alive. Only two hours later, he was allowed into the labour room where she found her wife with "so much blood". Her wife's condition appeared to be worsening after she was admitted to the ward. He called the nurses for several times as he believed his wife needed blood.Lallianmawia said the nurses told him they could not administer blood transfusion without the approval of the doctor and insisted that her HB was normal.

Her wife died around 1300 hrs on the very day.The doctor on duty has said dismissed. He was reported as saying that if she had needed blood transfusion, he would have arranged it. However, at the time of her death, his duty hours over and he did not know anything about the immediate circumstances.

Denying the hospital's alleged statement that the woman failed to get medical check-up during her pregnancy, Lallianmawia claimed that her wife took vaccination and had regular check-up at the local health sub-centre.
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