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Probe into the death of five-year-old girl to start today

  • Dr Bhagawan Koirala-led five-member team to look into the death that was apparently caused from blood mismatch during a surgery at Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre
- ARJUN POUDEL, NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

May 14, 2019-

Nepal Medical Council has launched an investigation into the death of the five-year-old Aakriti Kumari Sah, who had died allegedly from blood mismatch during a cardiac surgery at Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre.

According to the council, a five-member probe team  has been formed under consultant cardiac surgeon Dr Bhagawan Koirala to investigate the death of the five-year-old.

Other members of the committee are hematologist Dr Bishesh Poudel, former director of Bir Hospital, Dr Bhupendra Basnet and council members Dr Dhundi Raj Paudel and Dr Kalu Singh Khatri.

Sah had suffered from a double-chambered right ventricle, a rare congenital heart condition, and was admitted to the hospital on April 26. She underwent surgery on April 30.

Sah’s family claimed that she died on the same day due to blood mismatch but the hospital kept her on ventilator for a week and only pronounced her dead later. However, the hospital said that Sah had died at around 3am on May 6.

During the surgery, Sah was transfused with ‘A’ positive blood even when her blood group was ‘O’ positive. Some copies of hematology report obtained by the Post showed that the relatives of Sah were asked to arrange for ‘A’ positive blood.

Demanding probe, compensation, and action against those found guilty, the victim’s family have been refusing to accept the dead body.

The victim’s family have also been trying to lodge a case against five hospital office bearers, including executive director Dr Jyotindra Sharma, at the Maharajgunj-based police office.

“We are trying to lodge a case against those involved in the negligence but the police refuse to file our case despite several attempts,” Surendra Yadav, a relative of Sah told the Post.

“The police officers have asked us to remove the names of the doctors and hospital office bearers from the complaint if we want to register a case,” said Yadav.

However, police have said that the family’s complaint was not registered as the victim’s family had accused individuals who were not directly involved in the operation.

In the complaint letter, the victim’s family have mentioned Sharma, anesthetist Dr Jejunath Pokharel, lab in-charge Bindeshwor Prasad Yadav, lab coordinator Chandramani Adhikari and administration chief Dipendra Khadka.

However, the operation was performed by Dr Rabindra Timila and the anaesthetist was Dr Sandip Bhandari. The hospital had formed a probe committee under Pokharel to look into the case following the family’s accusations.

Senior police officers said that the family members had left the complaint letter at the circle without signing on it.

“The health personnel involved in the operation were not the ones mentioned by the victim’s family in their complaints. The family members had mentioned nine individuals in their first complaint,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Phanindra Prasai, in-charge of Maharajgunj Police Circle, told the Post. “When asked why they removed the other earlier mentioned names, they said that ‘someone’ had asked them to remove them.”

According to police, they had requested the family to file a complaint against the hospital saying that their daughter was transfused with the wrong blood group which led to her death.

“Registering complaint against those who do not have direct involvement in the case would affect the overall investigation process,” Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, chief of the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, told the Post.

“We have, however, been requesting the family to file a complaint against the hospital. Once they file the complaint, we will start our investigation and bring the ones involved in the death of the five-year-old under legal procedures,” said Subedi.

The victim’s family also said that they tried to lodge a case at the Kathmandu District Administration Office and Kathmandu District Attorney Office, but both offices refused to register the case.

Meanwhile, the probe team has said that the investigation will start on Wednesday.

Published: 15-05-2019 06:30

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