PGI says `sorry` for girl`s death, blames overcrowding

Amid allegations that callousness of doctors led to the death of a 16-year-old girl, PGIMER blamed "overcrowding" the causality.

Chandigarh: Amid allegations that callousness of doctors led to the death of a 16-year-old girl, PGIMER on Saturday blamed "overcrowding" and unending rush of patients for the causality.

However, PGIMER also maintained that it was premature to say at this stage whether the incident was a case of medical negligence and for that a broad based inquiry will have to be conducted.

Director of the premier institution said they were open to holding an independent enquiry by any external agency.

"We really feel sorry for the child lost in the whole episode. The (PGI`s) fact-finding committee deliberated and looked into the medical aspects of the patient and came to the conclusion that basic problem is overcrowding....PGI is overloaded and the doctors are overworked," Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research`s Director, Dr YK Chawla said addressing a news conference here this evening.

The parents of 16-year-old Anupama have alleged that failure to get timely medical attention resulted in her death as doctors had been "apathetic" to her condition.

On July 17, Anupama Sarkar, a Class X student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, and a resident of Mauli Jagran complex here, met with an accident.

Anupama`s leg was crushed under a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking bus here, and she died on July 24 at the Advanced Trauma Centre of PGIMER.
Facing volley of questions over the incident, Dr Chawla was on backfoot on most occasions in the absence of complete update on the sequence of events that led to Anupama`s death.

Chawla said that Anupama was probably 9th or 10th patient in the list to be operated, with more serious patients numbering 8 or 9 waiting in line ahead of her.

"Each surgery takes about 6-8 hours," he said.

However, when a reporter asked that hardly a surgery out of those eight being mentioned had been carried out, Chawla was left without an answer.

"I will have to find out," was his refrain when asked that the fact-finding committee had not kept him updated and in dark.