KARACHI : Police have detained three employees and registered a case against the administration of the Darul Sehat Hospital, where a minor girl was left paralysed after being administered the wrong dose of medicine. In a separate development, the Gulshan SP was restrained from official duty for the next 48 hours after a video emerged which showed him purportedly intimidating the victim’s father and warning him against pursuing the case against the hospital.
Meanwhile, the victim, nine-month-old Nishwa, daughter of Qaiser Ali, was shifted to Liaquat National Hospital on Sunday night, where she is currently admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. A day earlier, the Darul Sehat hospital had admitted to negligence on its part and had offered to bear all the medical expenses of the child’s treatment.
Two nine-month-olds, Nishwa Ali and Amisha Ali, were brought to the private hospital in Gulistan-e-Jauhar for treatment of diarrhoea. The girls’ condition improved a day after treatment.
However, before discharging the infant patients, the staff administered an injection to Nishwa after which her heartbeat abnormally increased. She also faced difficulty in breathing. The infant was shifted to the hospital’s ICU where she was placed on a ventilator. According to the report of the CT scan administered at the hospital, Nishwa had sustained damage to her brain cells.
Karachi Police chief AIG Dr Amir Shaikh has directed Gulshan SP Tahir Noorani to stay away from the investigation, after a video went viral on social media which showed the SP subtly threatening the victim’s father. Noorani warned the father against registering an FIR, saying that it could cause him further loss. In the video, the SP is heard saying that proceeding with the case would only harm him and not the hospital administration.
Taking notice of the matter, AIG Shaikh has ordered SP Noorani to cease all policing work for the next 48 hours. According to East DIG Dr Amir Farooqi, an inquiry will be conducted against the SP, during which he would only be able to look after the administrative affairs in his office and not allowed to go for any field work.
On Monday, Sharae Faisal Police registered a case, FIR number 354/2019, against the hospital administration on behalf of the victim’s father, Qaiser Ali. The case was registered under the section of attempted murder and includes clauses of causing damage to various parts of the body.
Speaking to media after the registration of the case, Ali said that he would approach every forum to seek justice for his daughter so that others did not fall prey to such practices. “The hospital administration has accepted their mistake and admitted that they administered a high dose of injection to the child,” he said.
Earlier on Sunday, the victim’s father had claimed that the incident occurred due to an overdose of potassium chloride injected by untrained hospital staff. The hospital has recruited many amateur medical technicians and staff on low salaries putting the lives of patients in danger, he told media. The injection that is administered through a period of 24 hours was given in a single dose due to which the condition of the infant worsened.
According to police officials, investigators will probe the incident and arrest the persons responsible for administering the wrong dose of medication.
Healthcare commission steps in
Later in the evening, Qaiser Ali told The Express Tribune that he had also registered a complaint with the Sindh Healthcare Commission, whose officials had visited the Darul Sehat hospital on Monday morning but had left without taking any action because no complaint had been registered till then.
“The commission does not have the authority to take action on its own,” said the commission’s CEO Dr Minhaj Kidwai. In response to a question, he said that the Darul Sehat Hospital was registered with the commission and had been provided the license. Later, the victim’s father said that the commission’s officials had contacted him after he had registered the complaint and he had informed them of the child’s ordeal. Qaiser was speaking to the media outside the LNH, where the child was admitted to the NICU.
Separately, the chief minister has directed the health department to constitute a committee, headed by the of the National Institute for Child Health’s Professor Jamal Raza and Dr Nand Lal, who will investigate the incident and compile a report.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the LNH, Anjum Rizvi, told The Express Tribune that the minor girl was brought to the LNH late Sunday night, where she is admitted in the NICU. According to Rizvi, certain parts of the child’s brain have been affected due to the high dose of the medicine administered to her.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2019.