Prem Kanwar died today morning after being in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital since January 31.
Prem was one among the two women who had been rushed to the hospital after barely surviving their deliveries at the Umaid Hospital which has now become notorious for a string of maternal deaths due to alleged medical negligence.
With the latest incident, the death toll in the city has now risen to 17.
Of these, 15 women died in the last three weeks at the Umaid Hospital after complications that arose during or after their deliveries at the hospital. The sixteenth victim died on Tuesday - she too had been operated upon at the same hospital, but for a hysterectomy.
It's not just mothers who died. Five babies were stillborn and one was premature. But of the nine children who survived, many are at risk without their mothers to take care of them.
There is no doubt, say many experts, including a committee of doctors who conducted an internal enquiry at Umaid Hospital that severe medical negligence contributed to the rash of deaths.
Umaid Hospital is a government hospital, which means it sees a huge rush of patients every day. Last year, the number of deliveries shot up from 40% to 70% of the operations performed here - the result, doctors say, of a government scheme that pays women close to Rs 2000 if they deliver at a hospital instead of at home. In 2010, there were 20,600 deliveries at the operating theatre. That's almost 50 births per day in this 700-bed hospital. Given the rush, basics like fumigating operating theatres to ensure they're sanitised are often overlooked as there just isn't time.
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