Swine flu: Pune girl’s family to sue hospital; govt issues notice



Swine flu: Pune girl’s family to sue hospital; govt issues notice Zeenews Bureau

Pune: Outraged over the “negligence” on part of the hospital that cost them their daughter, emotional family members of Rida Ayesha Shaikh on Tuesday decided to sue Pune’s Jahangir hospital and also demanded action against erring doctors.

The development came even as the Maharashtra government issued show cause notices to Jehangir as well as Ruby hospitals over Rida’s death.

Rida's parents and relatives claimed that the Jehangir hospital administration was at fault and they are to be blamed for their daughter's death. The aggrieved family is also demanding that the concerned doctors be banned from practising.

The family has also decided to file police complaint against the hospital.

“We will pursue civil as well as criminal action against the hospital for criminal negligence,” Asif Lampwala, lawyer of the victim’s family, said at a press conference here.

“Initially it was pneumonia. Later they told us that it is ARDF which is some acute respiratory disorder. They said it just affected the lungs and all other organs are safe,” said a visibly heartbroken aunt of Rida Shaikh.

Slamming the doctor for “gross negligence” she said, “Sanjay Agarwal. Firstly, Ruby hospital is to blame for giving us a negative report and second Jehangir is to blame. We have lost our daughter all because of the business like behaviour in which they treated her."

Rida's father added, "We have lost our daughter. We do not want this to happen to anyone else. Something has to be done."

Questioning the hospital’s conduct, Rida’s aunt asked, “Why were the samples sent to a private hospital? And, how come the test results came just in an hour,”

The victim’s father barely spoke, while her mother was all tears making futile attempts to control her tears in front of cameras.

The family further informed that none of the family member has the virus and tests conducted on them were negative.

They added that the government was quick in its response and was very helpful.

The 14-year-old school girl from Pune fell victim to the swine flu virus, a week after she was admitted to a private hospital with symptoms of the disease.

Jehangir Hospital, where she was treated, however tested her negative initially. Later, when the victim had severe lung infection, the doctors diagnosed it as swine flu, but it was too late by then.

The Jahangir Hospital is also facing the heat from the state government and the Centre. While Maharashtra Chief Minister termed it “negligence on part of the private hospital” and his administration issued show cause notices to Jehangir and Ruby hospitals, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad slammed the hospital by saying it treated her “too late”.

However, Jehangir Hospital authorities are defending themselves by claiming that they stuck to standard treatment after Rida tested positive for H1N1 virus on July 30, as she had no history of “foreign travel or coming in contact with H1N1 positive person”.

Ruby Hall Hospital also said it was not guilty of any medical negligence.

The hospital where a blood sample of the patient was sent for H1N1 testing during her treatment at Jehangir, had given negative result on July 29. Subsequent test at National Institute of Virology (NIV), however, came positive for H1N1 infection that claimed the girl's life.

Dr Pervez Grant, Medical Director of Ruby said, "the particular sample that was sent to Ruby had tested negative in the rapid test that can be conducted in an hour".

"There was no evidence of positivity in that particular sample at that point of time. In the early phase of the disease the result can come negative," he said.

He said the negative test result given by Ruby had a note that recommended further confirmatory tests at NIV.