Tuesday 28 June 2022
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Baby decapitated during delivery in Pakistan

The RHC staff in rural Sindh cut off the head of the newborn baby in the mother’s womb and left it inside her in a botched-up surgery

In a case of gross medical negligence, inexperienced staff of a rural health centre in the Sindh province of Pakistan decapitated an unborn baby inside the mother’s womb during delivery, leaving the 32-year-old woman in a life-threatening situation. As the woman is Hindu, a section of the media is viewing the incident from a communal angle.

The tragedy prompted the Sindh government to form a medical inquiry board to probe the incident and trace the culprits.

“The woman, who belongs to a far-flung village in Tharparkar district, had first gone to a Rural Health Centre (RHC) in her area but with no woman gynaecologist available, the inexperienced staff caused her immense trauma,” said Professor Raheel Sikander, who heads the gynaecology unit of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) in Jamshoro.

The doctor said that the RHC staff cut off the newborn baby’s head in the mother’s womb and it inside her in a botched-up surgery conducted on Sunday.

With head of baby inside her, woman rushed to another hospital

When the woman faced a life-threatening situation, she was rushed to a nearby hospital in Mithi where there were no facilities to treat her. Eventually, her family brought her to the LUMHS where the rest of the body of the newborn was taken out of the mother’s womb, saving her life, he said.

Dr Sikander said the baby’s head was entrapped inside and the mother’s uterus had been ruptured and they had to open up her abdomen surgically and take out the head to save her life.

Separate inquiries ordered

The horrifying blunder prompted the Director-General of Sindh Health Services Dr. Juman Bahoto to order separate inquiries into the case.

He said the inquiry committees will find out what happened, especially the absence of a gynaecologist and female staffers at the RHC in Chachro.

The inquiry committees will also look into reports that the woman had to undergo the trauma of having her video taken while lying on a stretcher.

“Apparently, some members of the staff took her photos on a mobile phone in the gynaecology ward and shared those pictures with different WhatsApp groups,” Dr Juman said.

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