Aftershocks of Anaesthesia: Hospital Details Comatose Girl’s Trauma

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“Instead of 15-30 minutes, Zikra was taken out from theatre after one and half hour. And when her mother carried her daughter in her lap, she found her overweight and cold.”

A day after carrying their comatose 14-month-old daughter on their arms for seeking justice in Srinagar’s Press Enclave in full media glare, the accused ASG hospital countered the claims of the family.

On Tuesday, Zikra Farooq was neither moving, nor able to see when her mother, Soliyah, longed to hear a word from her.

“My daughter is not able to walk or move her arms,” Soliyah lamented. “She is the victim of medical negligence which damaged her brain at a private hospital in Srinagar.”

According to her family from Srinagar’s Aali Kadal area, they had taken little Zikra to the ASG clinic – which is a dedicated eye hospital – after she experienced watering and regular accumulation of debris in her eye in April 2020.

“They initially asked us to carry out certain exercises,” Farooq Ahmad Bhat, father of the child, said.

“Then we carried out certain tests and ultimately, we were told that there is a need for carrying out a procedure which needs to be conducted after giving her local anaesthesia.”

After one and a half month, when the family approached Dr. Adil, “he said that she will be administered some drugs through injection for which anaesthesia was mandatory. He said it’s a short procedure and the process would only take 15-30 minutes,” the father said.

Accordingly, Bhat said, the little girl was taken for the treatment where “overdose of anesthesia” was given to her at the theatre “following which the doctors claimed she is alright and asked us to take her to home,” he said.

Instead of 15-30 minutes, Zikra was taken out from theater after one and half hour, the father said.

“And when her mother carried her daughter in her lap, she found her overweight and cold.”

A technician repeatedly sought medical attention, but the doctor kept on repeating that it was all right, the father said.

“On our insistence they told us to take the child to Lal Ded Hospital’s Neonatology department, but we refused and told them we will take the child to GB Pant or SKIMS,” Bhat said.

At SKIMS, he said, Zikra was directly admitted in the ICU, where she was treated for 26 days.

“But her condition was going from bad to worse,” he lamented.

After that, the family said, the baby was also taken to PGI Chandigarh where the doctors informed them that such incidents could happen and that she should have been taken to nearby tertiary care hospital for treatment as soon as she had complications.

The family is demanding that the action should be taken against those who are responsible for the negligence.

Clinical Take

A day after triggering an online rage for “mistreatment”, the management of ASG Hospital came out with their version of the story.

The baby, the hospital said in a statement, was anesthetized for a minor therapeutic procedure at the hospital by a qualified team of experts after taking due written consent from the father of the child with all possible anesthetic risks explained.

“Patient was anesthetized and the procedure was completed smoothly and shifted to the recovery as per standards with stable vitals,” the hospital said.

In the postoperative period, patients developed doubtful seizures in the recovery area as a post-anesthetic complication.

“In the interest of better patient care by pediatric intensivists, PICU unit of SKIMS Soura was contacted by the doctors of ASG Hospital and bed kept ready for the baby,” the hospital said.

“Baby was soon shifted to SKIMS PICU in an ambulance accompanied by an anesthesiologist and technologist. Baby was immediately diagnosed as a case of postoperative seizures and managed as per protocol at SKIMS Soura.”

After discharge from SKIMS, the ASG management said, attendants of patient intended to shift patient for further management at PGI Chandigarh and asked hospital to sponsor travel, boarding and treatment costs on “humanitarian grounds” which was accepted by hospital and even hospital staff member accompanied them to PGI in order to facilitate treatment of baby without hardships.

“It is a known fact that complications are possible during and after every anesthesia and surgery, more so in extremes of age and they being unpredictable can’t be avoided every time, a proper written consent explaining all possible complications is always taken before such procedures. In spite of all this, the hospital and its staff always cooperated with the family in the interest of baby’s health,” it said.

According to them, a few weeks back the family approached hospital for “undue compensation” which was not acceptable, the hospital said.

“In response to this the family members of said baby are trying to pressurize hospital authorities by all other possible means which are improper and unacceptable,” the ASG management said.

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