Medicine Society & Culture

Hospital accused of negligence over unborn baby death

A hospital has been accused of negligence following the discovery that a woman had been carrying a dead baby for a week, reports Raajje.mv.

Lhaviyani atoll hospital insisted last Sunday that the unborn baby was in good health when the mother expressed concern after she felt it stop moving.

But they also advised she seek urgent care in Malé and doctors at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital found the baby dead after a scan on Thursday.

ADK hospital, also in the capital, had previously administered an injection to the mother for her diabetes. They also recommended the atoll hospital administer the injection, but her family said the hospital refused to do so.

Umar Ibrahim, senior administrator at the atoll hospital, said a meeting was held following the death and that the health ministry would provide details.

But Raajje.mv reported that media officers at the atoll hospital and health ministry declined to comment.

The family expressed concern as it took a week to remove the dead baby. Her husband said the C-section scheduled for Saturday took place Sunday as “doctors were unable to attend during the weekend”.

A lack of facilities and qualified doctors at regional hospitals and island health centres has caused concern in the past, even protests, with Maldivians travelling to the capital for treatment.

In 2016, a 33-year-old mother bled to death following a botched caesarean in the regional hospital of Kulhudhuffushi island.

A year before that a 57-year-old heart attack victim died when her oxygen tank ran out as she was about to board a plane to the capital to be seen by doctors there.

Health professionals are rarely prosecuted for medical negligence. An Indian lab technician blamed for the transfusion of HIV positive blood to a Maldivian patient in 2014 was held for months in police custody and deported in 2015.

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