Medical negligence caused puerperal woman's death, claims husband

Medical negligence caused puerperal woman's death, claims husband

The deceased is Celestine Laveena Menezes, a resident of Poithaje village in Bantwal, who died on December 1 in a private hospital in Mangalore. However, her new born son is hale and healthy.

Naveen Menezes, the husband of Celestine, who narrated the entire issue to Deccan Herald, sought to know why there are no proper laws in place to book the doctors at fault in case of death due to medical negligence. Unfortunately at a juncture of time when Naveen Menezes should be rejoicing, the home coming of the child, he has taken up the challenge of making all those people responsible for the death of his wife answerable.


Celestine was married to Naveen 2 years ago. After a healthy gestation period, she was given November 15, 2009 as delivery date at Somayaji hospital in Bantwal by gynaecologist Dr Maya Prabhu. Since Celestine did not get the labour pain on November 15, she went to the hospital on November 16 at 8.30 am accompanied by her husband. While the pain was getting intense with ticking of the clock, her doctor Maya Prabu did not turn up even after 2 hours of  being informed that there was an emergency case waiting for her. After all efforts to get the doctor to the hospital went in vain, Naveen finally took mobile number of the doctor, which was not reachable. He approached the staff again and asked for personal number of Dr Prabhu. When Naveen called on the personal number, Dr Prabhu received the call and rebuked Naveen for having called on her personal number, he alleged. On arrival, Dr Prabhu took up Naveen’s call as the issue over Laveena’s delivery and scolded the staff for having given the number.

After all these, Dr Prabhu tested Celestine and said that they will have to wait for some more time for normal delivery. After some minutes, Dr Prabhu called Naveen and said that since there is some complication in posture of the baby, they will have to go for caesarean and accordingly Celestine was taken to the operation theatre at 11.30 am. The caesarean was over within an hour and the baby was brought out but there was no news about Celestine. While Naveen waited till 2 pm, there was no answer from the doctors as to where she was.

Finally on insistence, the staff informed that Celestine’s condition was critical as she was bleeding profusely and they need to arrange some bottles of blood. After blood was brought, they said that Celestine will have to be taken to Fr Mullers Hospital Mangalore for advanced treatment.

“They took Celestine in an ambulance while I followed. On reaching Fr Mullers, I discovered that Celestine was not brought to Fr Mullers at all. Thinking that they must have taken her to KMC Jyothi Circle, I went to KMC Jyoti circle to find that she was not brought even there. I finally located them at KMC Attavar. Not wanting to question them for this change of location, I paid attention at Celestine, who was in unconscious state,” he says and adds that a doctor named S R Nayak took over Celestine’s case but even this doctor remained tight lipped as to what the problem was.

On November 19, Celestine gained consciousness and the staff shifted her to the ward from ICU saying that the bleeding had stopped. She spoke to Naveen for 15 minutes for the last time and told him that she was scared when the doctor took her to the operation theatre. She told Naveen that Dr Maya Prabhu had scolded her because Naveen had called her on her personal number.

Next day she had lung congestion and several other health problems. She was taken to ICU again and this time she slipped into coma and never returned. She breathed her last on December 1. “I am an agriculturist. I did all that I could to save her. The hospital bill is running up to Rs 2 lakh and I have taken loan from friends to pay it off but I will fight against this injustice meted at my wife till the last just because I do not want this to happen to someone else,” says Naveen.

Case registered

Naveen has registered a case at Bantwal police station against Dr Maya Prabhu and staff of Somayaji hospital, Bantwal. Bantwal Circle Police Inspector Nanjundagowda informed that the case has been registered against Dr Prabhu who has said that she had done her level best to save the lady.

Gowda said that Dr Prabhu’s argument was that one in 10,000 women have peculiar kind of complication during delivery and hence with the consent of the family, she had done caesarean on Celestine and since the surgery went all right, the baby was healthy.

The bleeding was heavy and since Celestine’s body was not responding to the treatment, she had referred celestine’s case to Mangalore. Meanwhile, Gowda said that the exact picture and possibility of medical negligence will be ascertained after the post mortem report is out.

Funeral today

The funeral will be held at 4.30 pm at Farla parish in Bantwal.