?Push the child out, I must catch my train,? midwife allegedly told pregnant woman Court summons entire staff of De Soysa hospital Ward 16
In a shocking case of alleged negligence at Sri Lanka`s main maternity hospital, a child died within 24 hours of birth after a midwife allegedly told the mother to push the baby out fast because she had to catch a train.
Responding strongly, a Colombo court yesterday summoned the staff of Ward 16 of the De Soysa Maternity Hospital to court next Tuesday.
This came after Borella police told Additional Magistrate Mohamed Irshadeen that the midwife had allegedly made the mother, Vaidiyababu Careem, who was crying with labour pains to push the child out quickly so that the midwife would not miss her train. The child died less than 24 hours after the delivery and Police began investigations on a complaint made by the child`s father Osman Imamdeen of Grandpass.
According to the complaint, the doctors had told Ms. Careem her delivery date would probably be March 25 but she had admitted herself for a scan on March 16. Apart from the scan she had under gone some other tests, which showed that her foetus was healthy. Subsequently the doctors had said that her baby might be born within two days and advised her to enter hospital.
The police said that according to the complaint, on March 19 around 2 a.m. Ms. Careem had got labour pains and asked for a doctor. The midwife on duty had told her she believed there was still more time for the baby to be born and advised the mother to sleep. The midwife said she was giving this advice on the basis of her 25-year experience.
The complainant said Ms. Careem continued to suffer labour pains but the staff had ignored her and not called a doctor while the midwife allegedly told her to push the child out fast so that she could catch her train.
The baby was born at 6.48 am and 30 minutes later a doctor examined the child after nurses and others left. The new-born baby was then sent to the Intensive Care Unit. In response to the queries of the mother, doctors told her the child had swallowed some fluid and the condition was serious.
Additional Judicial Medical Officer (AJMO) Dr. Rahul Haq who conducted the post-mortem on a court order, said death was due to bleeding caused by the child`s head being jammed.