This Article is From May 11, 2010

Girl dies hours after polio vaccine injection

Pune: An eight-month-old girl's death in Pune, hours after she received a polio vaccine injection, has resulted in an inquiry being ordered.

According to a complaint made by Wakad resident Santosh Dhende to officials of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), his daughter Sanjana was administered her second dose of the triple polio vaccine and soon the child started showing signs of uneasiness.

The doctors allegedly dismissed the parents' concerns, saying such things were routine during immunisation and they need not worry.

The Dhendes were asked to take their baby home, but soon after reaching their residence at Mhatoba Nagar in Wakad, Sanjana turned blue in the face and had to be rushed back to Thergaon municipal hospital, where she had been given the vaccine.

"The dose was given at 11.30 am and the child was brought back at 12.30 pm in a serious condition. We gave her life-saving injections and put her on oxygen support, and shifted her to YCM hospital in an ambulance. However, they lost her there at 2.15 pm," said Dr Vishwanath Sawant, senior medical officer who is in-charge of the Thergaon hospital.

A day prior to the incident, the girl had been administered the Hepatitis B vaccine. The girl's parents could not be immediately traced as the hospital records did not mention the full address.

Both state and civic officials have ordered an inquiry into the case, but seem inclined to accept the hospital version even before test reports came in.

"A police case has been registered with the Hinjewadi police station and a preliminary report into the incident prepared by three experts has been sent to the higher authorities," said Dr R R Iyer, medical director, PCMC. "The initial report suggests the baby died of heart disease."

He added that the post-mortem had been conducted, but the opinion was pending. "The viscera has been preserved and sent for analysis; cause of death will be revealed in 10-15 days," said Iyer. "The police and drug inspectors have seized samples of the polio vaccine and sent it for tests."

Dr V M Kulkarni, assistant director of health services (immunisation) said he had received the initial report from PCMC officials and was waiting for the lab reports.

"That particular batch has been stopped and no polio dose will be given until the report is received," he said.

Thergaon municipal hospital authorities accepted that the death happenedwithin a few hours of the baby being given the polio dose, but say thegirl died of a congenital heart defect. "The baby had a hole in theheart from birth. Even the X-ray report on Friday showed enlargement ofthe heart. The death isn't due to the vaccine, but heart defect," saidDr Vishwanath Sawant, senior medical officer, in-charge of the hospital.