Diphtheria affected boy dies, parents allege medical negligence

17 September, 2016

Parents of eight-year-old Nandish, who died while undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH) in the city on Friday have alleged that medical negligence led to their son’s death.

Nandish was suffering from diphtheria, a serious infection of the throat and nose. He was admitted to pediatric intensive care unit at the IGICH on August 8 and was discharged after treatment. After Nandish developed Post Diphtheritic Palsy (PDP), a complication of diphtheria that occurs after four to five weeks of initial diphtheria infection, his parents Asha and Devaraj admitted him again to the IGICH on September 4. However, he died around 10 am on Friday. 

Hospital sources said the boy’s condition was such that no specific therapy was available. “We made all efforts to save him,’’ one of the doctors attending on him told DH. 

 His parents, however, alleged that Nandish was not given proper medication and care during the treatment from September 4. They claimed that they were not even allowed to see him at the hospital. 

IGICH Director Dr Asha Benakappa denied any medical negligence by doctors or the hospital. “PDP is a condition which does not have specific treatment and has poor prognosis with high mortality and morbidity. The child was given all necessary supportive care during the hospital stay. Parents were sufficiently counseled every day on the child’s condition during the hospital stay and, the same has been documented in the hospital records.”

“The sad part is that this disease could have been prevented by routine age appropriate immunisation which is provided by the government free of cost at all levels of health care facilities,” she said in a media statement.