A six-year-old tribal girl, who was allegedly administered contaminated intravenous fluid at the state-run Gandhi hospital in Hyderabad on December 15, succumbed early on Tuesday.
Sai Pravallika, from Mondrayi village in Telangana’s Jangaon district, had been admitted to the hospital on December 7 for pneumonia and was undergoing treatment since then. Her condition worsened in the last two days and she breathed her last on Tuesday morning.
Her parents, Dharavath Bikshapathi and Sumalatha alleged that the hospital authorities tried to hush up Pravallika’s death by forcibly sending the body to their village in an ambulance with the help of police.
“We were not allowed to stay even for 10 minutes after the death and were forcibly sent to our village,” Bhikshapathi said.
According to him, Pravallika was recovering and was about to be discharged, but she suddenly developed complications on December 15. Bhikshapathi noticed some fungus in the intravenous fluid (IV fluid) being administered to her and raised an alert. By the time the doctors removed the bottle, half of the fluid had been administered.
He alleged that the hospital staff tried to destroy the bottle, but he snatched the same and lodged a complaint with the Chilkalguda police in Secunderabad.
“My daughter developed severe allergic reaction all over the body and was gasping for breath. The bottle, which had a yellowish material and an insect in it, was sent for examination,” he said.
The doctors immediately shifted the girl to the intensive care unit and put her on ventilator. But her condition continued to remain critical and she died after battling for life for nearly eight weeks.
The state government ordered an inquiry into the incident by the Telangana drug control department authorities.
“But, the inquiry has not yet been completed and no report has been submitted so far. The authorities said they would shift Pravallika to a corporate hospital, but they didn’t do it,” Bhikshapathi lamented.
Hospital superintendent Dr J Venkateshwar Reddy, however, said Sai Pravallika had already been suffering from a peculiar neurological disorder by the time she had been admitted to the hospital.
“The report from Bangalore-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) also confirmed her disease, which is progressively degenerating. Periodically, she used to get infections like pneumonia for which we had given her treatment,” he said.
On the contamination of dextrose administered to her, Reddy said immediately after the incident was reported, the hospital authorities had seized all the bottles of that particular batch and sent them for medical examination.
“None of the bottles had any contamination and even the supplier had agreed for investigation. We do not know how that particular bottle was contaminated,” he said, adding that drug control authorities are investigating the case.
On why the hospital authorities had sent Pravallika’s body to her native place without conducting post-mortem, the superintendent said autopsy would be conducted only in medico-legal cases. “Even the parents did not ask for any post-mortem,” he said.