ASIR, SAUDI ARABIA: I am settled in Saudi Arabia along with my wife. After realising that there are better health facilities in Pakistan, particularly in Rawalpindi hospitals, I asked my pregnant wife to deliver our first child in Rawalpindi.
She started visiting a prominent gynaecologist of the city, till she was ready to deliver the baby. Following the doctor’s advice, my wife went to the hospital on May 6, 2014, at about 11.30am and registered to get admitted. She was shifted to the labour room at about 8pm and the induction process was initiated.
At around 10.50pm, the lady doctor examined her and found that her umbilical cord had prolapsed. At this stage, she declared an emergency and yelled at the support staff as my wife had to be operated on urgently.
The operation theatre located adjacent to the labour room was locked at that time, so my wife was shifted to another operation theatre located at a remarkable distance from the labour room, so an ambulance was required. Moreover, the supporting female staff in the labour room did not have white sheets to cover my wife, who by this time was going through the most insufferable kind of pain while lying on a stretcher. Moreover, the stretcher’s wheels were wobbling, endangering the patient’s life. Above all, I was astounded to note the attitude of the ambulance driver who did not pay much attention to the emergency situation and termed it a mere ‘routine matter’.
It took about 35 precious minutes to reach the main operation theatre where the staff were unaware that an emergency had been called. After the surgery was finally conducted, an oxygen cylinder on a vibrating stand was taken to the operation theatre to shift the newborn baby to the nursery in an ambulance.
Eventually, a lady doctor (not the gynaecologist) came out of the theatre and broke the sad news that the newly born baby had just five per cent chances of survival as much delay had occurred in the surgery. Such laxity, such massive blunders on the part of the administration and the consultant doctor, in a situation when the umbilical cord prolapses is not expected from a prestigious hospital of Rawalpindi.
The gynaecologist underplayed the risks associated with my wife’s pregnancy. The hospital was careless in delivering care. All of which made me lose my first son.
I request health authorities to investigate the matter for the sake of other people. Pregnancy comes with a lot of trauma, pains and hopes. It is not an easy affair.
No one can realise the ordeal that I, my wife and my whole family passed through owing to this incident.
Muhammad Omer Asghar
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2014.