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‘I found dozens of injections with expiry date in 2016’: Did Gandhi hospital try to cover up?

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Ground Report
“If those injections were not used, then why were they in a hurry to clean the dustbin?”
File Photo: Aditi Mallick
Five-year-old Dikshitha was admitted in the children’s ward of Gandhi Hospital on Thursday for a stomach infection. She was being administered medicines regularly on the following days. On Saturday, too, the nurse gave her an evening injection – but this time, something was off. Dikshitha started shivering suddenly and her temperature soared up.
Her mother Renuka was scared and distressed. “She was in pain before, but this was first time she was shivering with high fever. Two minutes later, the 9-year-old on the next bed started shivering as well, and within minutes, one by one, five children in Unit number 1, where Dikshitha was admitted, developed a high fever,” Renuka recalls.
She then went to the emergency ward along with the other parents – only to find 10 other worried parents there.
As many as 15 children in the hospital were taken ill after being given the prescribed evening injection, and their frightened parents did not know what was happening.
“In 15 minutes, my son Rishikesh began twisting on the bed and his eyes rolled up. He started shivering. When I took him to the emergency ward, the doctor gave him another injection, after which he stopped shivering. I was so worried to see him like that,” says T Srinivas.
On Sunday the children are said be better after the treatment, but several parents have refused to let the hospital administer any more injections to their children after the incident.Expired medicines given to children?
Amidst the panic, Jayashree, a 26-year-old woman whose son is getting treated for a kidney ailment in the hospital, claims she managed to find a dozen expired vials of medicine.
“When I saw almost 7 children from Unit 2 shivering with high fever almost at the same time, I went to the nurse’s room near the ward. I found dozens of injections which had an expiry date in 2016. Immediately, I took a few samples and informed other parents,” says Jayashree, as she shows the expired vials to TNM.
Jayashree further claims that the hospital tried to hide the evidence once she found the expires vials.
“We don’t know what they are giving our children. When we confronted the doctor, he said those are not the injections which are given to our children. Then why are the expired injections still in hospital? Why didn’t they throw them out?” Jayashee asks.
“My suspicion grew after,” Jayashree claims. “They immediately cleaned the dustbin where they throw the used injections after we went downstairs to complain. Normally, they clean on alternate days, but suddenly, in middle of the night on Saturday, they cleaned all the garbage,” she alleges.

Hospital denies allegations
Gandhi Hospital has, however, denied the allegations. “Even we are shocked how those expired injections were kept in the room,” says R Seshadri, the hospital’s resident medical officer.
“But those were not the injections which are given to the children. Some of them were admitted to hospital for fever and chills, they were suffering from fever. Five of the children were given ceftriaxone, which sometimes has side effects like shivering,” she says.
Meanwhile, an external committee has been formed to investigate into the matter, she says.
But the parents whose children suffered are not willing to accept these explanations.
“Though the RMO and hospital authorities are saying the children were already sick, my grandson did not have a fever for the past three days. He started shivering only after the injection was given,” says Andalamma.
“If those injections were not used, then why were they in a hurry to clean the dustbin? If we had money we would have gone to a private hospital. Here, they don’t respect the patient’s life. There should be a proper investigation on this issue. Anything could have happened to the children due to the nurse’s carelessness,” she adds.

Past allegations of negligence
This is not the first time that the Gandhi Hospital has been accused of negligence and apathy.
Just last week, the hospital was in the news after an injured patient was seen using a toy tricycle to move around after he was denied a wheelchair, allegedly because he could not pay bribes.
The patient, S Raju, a resident of Begumpet, had reportedly suffered burn injuries after sustaining an electric shock in August last year and went to the hospital for a follow-up. Raju’s wife alleged that ward-boys had been demanding Rs 100 for providing a wheelchair, but she did not have money to pay the bribe.
In December last year, a young girl’s father had alleged that he found an ‘insect’ in a saline bottle that was given to her. Sai Prabalika was was suffering from a rare neurological disorder called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and was on antibiotics and oxygen support.
According to doctors, the girl was being treated for recurrent infection and bouts of pneumonia. The girl’s father alleged that her condition started deteriorating after being administered the ‘contaminated’ saline. She died 62 days after the incident.

Also Read:
My daughter is critical after getting contaminated IV, says Hyderabad father of six-year-old
62 days of anxiety, an eternity of grief: Child victim of alleged negligence dies in Hyderabad

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