Throwing in the towel: Woman, family protest against Allied Hospital doctors

Doctors who left towel in Kalsoom’s abdomen refuse to treat her.

Shamsul Islam August 22, 2011


Dozens of relatives of a former patient at Allied Hospital staged a protest demonstration on Monday. The patient and her family were protesting the alleged negligence of Gynaecology Ward doctors at the hospital, after a towel had been left in her abdomen during surgery.

According to Kalsoom and her husband Shafiqur Rehman, she had been admitted to the Allied Hospital one-and-a-half month ago for the delivery of her baby. During surgery doctors forgot a towel in her abdomen and Kalsoom has been suffering severe abdominal pains every since. “We have made several trips to the hospital but I was always given medicine and the pain never went away. A few days ago doctors conducted a CT scan and discovered the towel,” Kalsoom said. “Then they said they could not operate to take it out yet,” she added.

“My wife was discharged a couple of days after the delivery but she has been complaining of severe pain ever since.

We have been coming here for weeks and now we know it was the doctors’ fault,” Rahman said. “At first the doctors said that it was allergies and she was suffering a reaction, later they gave us medicine. Now that they know the problem they are still not treating her,” he said.

“Now they want me to go to a private hospital so that they can avoid all responsibility for the incident. Why should I pay for the surgery when the doctors made the mistake?

They ought to do the procedure for free,” Kalsoom said. She added that at first she was admitted to the hospital for the operation to remove the towel from her abdomen but was suddenly discharged two days ago. “They said that I should go to a private hospital and that they didn’t have space,” she said.

A large group of protesters was seen outside Allied Hospital on Monday and Kalsoom said that she needed the surgery urgently but doctors refused to admit her. “The Allied Hospital administration is intentionally and wilfully avoiding the consequences of their mistake and are refusing to operate on my wife,” Rahman said.

Allied Hospital officials said that they had registered the complaint and an inquiry was being conducted into the surgery and negligence charges.

When contacted, the registrar of the Gyne Ward, said that at present there were no vacant beds in the hospital. “We have a long list of patients till Eidul Fitr. This is why Kalsoom was not admitted,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.