IAS officer claims daughter given 'expired polio drops'

IAS officer claims daughter given 'expired polio drops'

Files complaint against Chinmaya Mission Hospital, Indiranagar

The issue of transparency in private hospitals came to the fore once again with an IAS officer lodging a complaint against Chinmaya Mission Hospital in Indiranagar, where the authorities allegedly refused to reveal the name of the Oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV) administered to her 10-week-old child.

Pallavi Akurathi, joint secretary in the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms has filed a complaint of criminal negligence with Indiranagar police, who have registered an FIR against Dr S Suresh Kumar and senior staff nurse Krishnamma of CMH.

During a visit to the hospital on October 3, Kumar conducted a physical check-up of the baby and wrote a prescription wherein four vaccines were mentioned, the fourth one being OPV. The officer bought the three vaccines at the CMH medical shop. As OPV is a "multi-dose vial", it is understood that it will be given by the hospital itself, the complaint states.

The complaint said that after administering three vaccines, the accused nurse gave two or three pink drops to the baby which "we assumed were the OPV as mentioned in the prescription". Later in the day, the officer came to know that the OPV manufactured by a particular company was banned.

"I was worried and wanted to know the manufacturer of the OPV given to my baby...However, on the following day, when enquired, the said nurse denied the fact that she had given OPV to my baby," the complaint read, adding that her infant child fell ill.

The complaint termed the nurse's claim a blatant lie which amounts to criminal negligence. "As the prescription clearly mentioned OPV, it is her responsibility to inform us if she had not given the same for any reason. Not following the doctor's prescription and not informing us about it amounts to criminal negligence on her part. Moreover, she gave pink drops to the baby," the officer said in the complaint.

When DH contacted the officer, she said there was a need for greater monitoring and transparency in private hospitals, including the installation of CCTVs. Asked whether the problem was widespread, considering that many people may not be aware of vaccines, she said: "Frankly, many people don't know what all vaccines are being given to their child. Imagine four vaccines were given to my child within one and half minutes. Private hospitals are playing with the lives of people."

Hospital's response

Responding to the accusation, Dakshinamurthy, Resident medical officer of the CMH Hospital, confirmed that Pallavi Akurathi had visited the hospital. "We had given a vaccination, including polio drops, the bill was also given to her which mentioned expiry date and batch number of the medicine given to her daughter. We have not given expired vaccination to her daughter. A drug controller, health officer and a police officer have visited the hospital and conducted a detailed inquiry and recorded the statement of the Krishnamma and Kumar," he said.

Indiranagar police have taken the statements of Kumar and Krishnamma and are conducting an investigation.