False alarm: Family retracts baby swapping claim at hospital

Lady Reading Hospital inquiry says media violated patient’s privacy.

Manzoor Ali December 13, 2011


An inquiry report into the case of the two swapped babies at Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) has termed the role of the media in this case, “negative, sensational and of grave concern for the staff of the hospital”.

An eight-member committee headed by Dr Nasreen Ruby was investigating the matter and said in their inquiry report that on the pretext of media coverage, media personnel and representatives entered the labour room of the Gynaecology Department unannounced, and invaded the privacy of the female patient and doctors.

“This attitude and their entrance in the female patients’ area without permission is totally against eastern, ethical, moral, Pakhtun and Islamic traditions and norms and has created unrest and insecurity among the female staff and the administration in general,” it said.

The inquiry was ordered on December 6 after a female patient, Rubina, was admitted to the hospital for premature delivery of twins. She gave birth to the girls at 7:30 pm under the supervision of house officer Dr Sana and Trainee Medical Officer Dr Sobia. The same day, another patient named Salma gave birth to a baby boy. After this, Rubina’s brother Hameed Khan stated in front of the media that both his sister’s babies were male who were swapped with female babies and claimed that the ultrasound of his sister, conducted earlier, showed a male foetus.

The report clearly pointed out that Rubina was informed about the female babies and, in fact, the twins were also shown to her. The committee also interviewed the entire staff and concerned parties and clinically examined the babies, along with a thorough inspection of all documents and medical records. All of this confirmed that Rubina gave birth to twin girls, whereas, Salma gave birth to a boy. The reports of two ultrasounds carried out privately and at the LRH did not indicate any sex determination.

The inquiry committee also recommended further streamlining the gynaecology department’s administration in accordance with standard operating procedures. All medical records and procedures must be made clearer and news of newborns should be communicated by a responsible doctor in front of the patient’s relatives.

The family withdrew their claims later the same day and took their two girls home. They apologised to the administration.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2011.


Sajjad Hussain | 9 years ago | Reply

Media must ensure that such unverified news must never be communicated electronically or in print as it causes sensation and ill feeling against hospital administration.

Word Life | 9 years ago | Reply

And who is responsible for causing this fury (towards the Hospital Administration) all over Pakistan?

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