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Infant's death puts GMCH under scrutiny

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Alleged negligence of doctors and erroneous death certificate sparks controversy; family to lodge police complaint today

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, March 26: As the State struggles to check its high infant mortality rate, the mysterious death of a two-day old infant has sparked a controversy at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), raising questions on the medical care at government institutions once again.

A baby girl was born to a couple at the GMCH on March 20. It died at around 11.30 pm of March 22.

The parents – residents of Noonmati in the city - had suspected negligence of the doctors after the death of the infant, even as skeletons began to tumble out as the days passed.

The death certificate, issued by Dr Vivekanda (MS), stated that the baby was a male, which left the parents baffled. “We were shocked to see the death certificate. I wonder now whether the infant was my baby or somebody else’s,” said the father. The copy of the blood test report – issued by a pathologist - given on March 22 also said the baby was a male.

A second death certificate was issued rectifying the sex of the baby to female, but in that corrected certificate, it was stated that the baby died on the third day.

Again, it was stated that the infant died due to infection.

Some experts were critical as to why the baby was not kept at the neotal intensive care unit after birth if it was suffering from any infection. The parents claimed that the baby was kept with the mother at the cabin, which might have aggravated the infection.

Authorities of the GMCH have taken the matter “seriously”.

An official said the file of the infant has been “seized”. “We have asked the family to lodge a formal complaint. If any negligence is found on the part of the attending doctors, strict action will be taken,” said a senior official of the hospital.

Family sources said they would give written complaints to the police and State Health minister besides the GMCH.

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