Turned Away By Two Ill-equipped Public Hosps, Neral Woman Delivers Stillborn | Thane News

Thane: A Raigad woman, who was sent from one state government-run hospital to another because they didn’t have the expertise to help with her complicated labour, recently delivered a stillborn boy in an ambulance en route to a third public hospital.
The 30-year-old woman’s 12-hour-long medical trauma on March 21 came to light when a local activist wrote, on her behalf, to health minister Tanaji Sawant and chief minister Eknath Shinde on Monday. The family lives in Kadav village of Neral, roughly 60km from Shinde’s base, Thane, and about 100km from Mantralaya.
Around 8am on March 21, the woman rushed to the local sub-district hospital in Karjat after developing labour pains at her home in Kadav village. Doctors said the baby had excreted in the womb and referred her to the state-run Central hospital in Ulhasnagar, nearly 40km away, as they didn’t have the “adequate infrastructure” to handle the case.
Passing meconium or stool in the womb could occur when the infant is past the due date. In 10% such cases, the about-to-be-born child breathes some of the meconium that could lead to death if not attended to soon.
The woman, who was accompanied by her husband and mother, was admitted to Central hospital by 1pm but the staff here too claimed helplessness and referred her to the Thane Civil hospital.
By this time, the family had contacted a local activist, Prabhakar Gangavne, who finally helped them write to the health minister and CM about their ordeal and demand improvement of medical facilities.
“The family was kept waiting by the Ulhasnagar hospital till late evening even as the woman was writhing in pain. The husband requested a private ambulance driver to ferry his wife to Thane, but realised he didn’t have money to pay for the ride,” Gangavne told TOI. The family got the money via online transfer from a family friend, Mahesh Gangavne, in Karjat. Mahesh spoke to a relative working at a Kalwa hospital, which is run by the Thane Municipal Corporation, to reserve a bed there instead of the Civil hospital.
The family’s ordeal didn’t end here as one of the ambulance’s tyres got punctured midway. By the time the driver completed the 25-km journey from Ulhasnagar to Kalwa, the woman had delivered a stillborn boy, said her husband.
Dr Manoj Bansode, in-charge of the Karjat facility, told TOI: “The woman was brought in with meconium and as we neither have advanced facilities nor neo-natal intensive care unit to handle such cases, the on-duty doctor referred her to the Ulhasnagar facility which is better equipped.” He said he has sought a detailed explanation from his staff.
A doctor from the Kalwa hospital said the woman was brought in a critical condition. “A stillborn baby had already been delivered during transit in the ambulance. We admitted her immediately and discharged her later after ascertaining her well-being. The woman was referred from the Ulhasnagar hospital after they observed abnormal heartbeats.”
A response from the Central hospital, Ulhasnagar, was awaited at the time of going to the press.
Chief civil surgeon Dr Manohar Bansode said he will enquire at the Ulhasnagar Central hospital why the patient was referred to the Kalwa hospital. “We have all facilities at the hospital and any patient taking treatment here will not have to travel elsewhere,” he said.
(Inputs by Pradeep Gupta)

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