Emergency services demand adequate facilities

  • Posted on: December 02, 2021

The pregnant patient was taken to a primary health centre in the wee hours of morning. She delivered a healthy baby girl but soon thereafter suffered postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). An ambulance was called for transferring her to a higher centre, which unfortunately took more than thirty minutes to arrive.

This delay cost everyone dearly as the patient was declared brought dead at the higher centre.

Her husband, bearing his loss and weight of raising the new-born on his own, sued the primary health centre. His one and only pointed allegation was that precious time was wasted in transferring his beloved wife to the higher centre.

Citing medical literature, the primary health centre stated in defence that PPH was a known complication, and a common cause for maternal deaths after delivery in India.

The honourable High Court observed that every second counts when it comes to saving a life – any delay could cause patient’s death, and it also stated the following:

“Every primary health centre is supposed to have an ambulance readily available to shift patients in case of emergency. It is an admitted case that this primary health centre was regularly dealing with delivery cases and they have to expect an emergency at any time and they cannot afford to run a centre without an ambulance”.

The primary health centre was held accountable and negligent for lacking in this basic emergency service.

Source: Order pronounced by Madras High Court, Bench of Madurai on 29 th June, 2021.