Toll of botched family planning surgery rises to 4

HYDERABAD: With the toll of up to four in botched family planning operations at Ibrahimpatnam Government Civil Hospital, the health department said on Tuesday it had launched a “fully transparent investigation” into the incident. The four women, ages 22 to 32, had undergone family planning surgeries Aug. 24 and died on Sunday and Monday, sending state health officials rushing to initiate damage control.

As protests erupted over the deaths, the government announced Rs. 5 lakh as immediate ex gratia to the four bereaved families. The families will each be given a 2-bedroom house and the children’s education will be provided in government-run social welfare schools, said Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, Dr. G. Srinivasa Rao, at a hastily called press conference.

The license of the doctor who performed the operations has been temporarily revoked while the hospital superintendent has been suspended, he said.

The doctor would have been very experienced and a specialist in PF surgeries.

The inquest will find out what led to the deaths, he added.

Dr. Srinivasa Rao also announced that he would lead a team to investigate the events, including the “one-day sterilizations” program held at the hospital, and the reasons that led to the deaths of the four women. “A fully transparent investigation will take place and we will prepare the report within a week,” Dr Srinivasa Rao said.

Thirty-four women underwent what he described as a “double tap
laparoscopy’ to perform tubectomies in the hospital. All
post-operative care was taken, guidelines were followed and patients were counselled, given medication and sent home after recovery, Dr Srinivasa Rao said. But, two days later, on August 26 and 27, four of the women developed gastroenteritis and went to private hospitals for treatment.

“Four of the women unfortunately lost their lives. We pray for them and send our condolences to their families,” said Dr Srinivasa Rao.

He said: “As soon as it was brought to our attention, we screened the rest of the 30
women for their condition. Among them, seven were transferred to a private hospital
in the city, while three were brought to NIMS. We put ourselves at the service
special teams. We want to save the lives of all these women.

He said fixed day sterilizations are done once a month at a
designated health facility, with eligible individuals being counseled and
educated on permanent family planning methods.

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