Doctors at a private nursing home in East Delhi left a surgical gauze inside the abdomen of a 28-year-old who gave birth to a girl on September 13 through Caesarean section.
On September 25, Shweta Khandelwal was rushed to St Stephen’s Hospital after she complained of severe abdominal pain. Doctors at the hospital found that her abdomen was swollen “dangerously” due to the infection from the gauze.
The gauze has been removed in an emergency surgery and Shweta is recuperating. St Stephen’s has registered a medico-legal case.
A housewife based in Gandhinagar, Shweta was under the care of Rishabh Nursing Home in Kailash Nagar since the initial days of her pregnancy.
Public Relations Officer at St Stephen’s Balbir Singh said: “A foreign body like the gauze lying inside the abdomen can pose a serious threat of infection. With the gauze, we retrieved about two litres of pus, due to which her belly had swollen alarmingly. She was in a critical condition.”
Her condition is being monitored to check for further infection, though she is now stable, Singh said.
Shweta was discharged from Rishabh Nursing Home on September 18. Her family alleged that the doctors at the nursing home had dismissed their repeated requests to examine her after the delivery.
Her husband Amit Khandelwal said: “My wife was vomiting and had a constant stomach pain and almost no appetite. We also noticed that her belly was swelling. But doctors kept saying that these were digestion problems, and she was fine.”
He said Shweta had returned to the nursing home on September 22, when her stitches were removed after another examination.
“Doctors did not do any ultrasound or X-ray, though she was in so much pain and the stomach had swollen,” Amit said. The family has filed a police complaint.
Authorities from the nursing home denied any knowledge about the infected surgical gauze. Medical Superintendent Dr Anil Kumar Jain said Shweta was monitored round-the-clock after her surgery and was discharged only after she was stable.
Jain said: “We discharged her after all investigations, and both the mother and the baby were doing fine.” He said on September 24 night, Amit had contacted him saying Shweta’s condition was deteriorating. “I told them to bring her (to the nursing home) at night or the next morning. The patient was never brought to us. Now we hear they shifted her to another hospital the next day,” Dr Jain said.