In a case of negligence, 12 pregnant women have died and four others are battling for their lives after they were allegedly administered contaminated intravenous fluids following which police has lodged an FIR against the drug company and a local distributor.
A case has been registered under section 328 of the Indian Penal Code (causing hurt by means of poison with intent to commit an offence), against the Indore-based Parental Surgical India Private Limited, and a local distributor, for allegedly supplying contaminated I V fluid that is believed to be the cause behind the death of 12 pregnant women in hospitals in Jodhpur.
"We have started the investigation and checking the stocks. A total of 5,000 bottles of this drug of a particular lot were supplied to the hospitals. The unused bottles of the medicine have been seized along with the drug of the same batch in the market," Police Commissioner Bhupendra Kumar Dak said.
12 women died after profuse bleeding post delivery in Umaid and MG hospitals since February 13, while four are battling for their lives. A few patients at the hospital are also feared to have contracted infection through the same I V fluid and have complained about excessive bleeding.
Umaid hospital superintendent Narendra Changani said that the administration has registered a complaint against the manufacturing company and the local distributor Anshul Pharam, who supplied the contaminated stock of the I V fluid.
The distributor was, however, released late night following a protest by the Drug and Chemist Association, police said.
Investigating officer Dhagla Ram informed that close to 10,000 bottles of the IV fluid have so far been seized and a report of Forensic Scientific Laboratory is awaited.
Three out of five samples, sent for test by the Umaid hospital administration, of the fluid are reported to have tested positive for strains of micro-organisms, said a report.
The entire batch of the I V fluid used earlier has been withdrawn from use from all hospitals, and alternative arrangements are being made, said sources.
"We are trying to find out the exact reason for these deaths led by profuse bleeding," said Umaid hospital Superintendent Narendra Changani.
He claimed that the I V fluid of the same batch had also been administered to patients in other hospitals and even to children but it has not shown any negative results.
Meanwhile, the condition of 30 pregnant women, including six who had undergone Cesarean Section in the hospital, is said to be stable.
Meanwhile, a two-member panel of the state government arrived in Jodhpur on Thursday to look into the death of the women.
The team visited Umaid hospital and checked arrangements like operation theatre, labour room and wards apart from holding discussions with the six-member committee constituted by the S N Medical College administration to probe into the cause of deaths.
Till February 23, nine pregnant women had died due to excessive bleeding.
Initially, the cause of death was believed to be excessive bleeding and the Medical and Health Minister Emaduddin Ahmed 'Durru' Miyan had given a "clean chit" to the doctors there.
However, with the death toll mounting to twelve, the state government and the hospital management woke up to the situation.
District Magistrate Siddharth Mahajan said that the hospital administration was asked to keep the operation theatre shut until it is completely fumigated and the report is arrived.
"We think that there must be some infection prevalent in the OT and the labour room. Considering this, we have attempted to reduce undue rush in the hospital," he said.
The Umaid hospital administration since then has suspended conducting surgeries in the labour room and the operation theatre fearing possibility of infection. Instead the operation theatre of paediatrics ward is used, said Superintendent of Umaid hospital.