As a pregnant woman lay on the operation table for an emergency C-section, two doctors argued loudly, calling each other names and threatening each other. They kept fighting, the unconscious woman between them, as one staff member surreptitiously recorded them on a mobile phone.When one of the doctors – the obstetrician – finally delivered the baby at a hospital in Rajasthan, it didn’t survive long.
The incident took place on Tuesday inside an operation theatre at the Umaid hospital in Jodhpur, the biggest in the city.
The argument erupted between the doctors – Ashok Nainwal and ML Tak – during an emergency caesarean surgery scheduled because of the feeble heartbeat of the foetus.
It appears to have started when Dr Nainwal, the obstetrician, questioned whether the patient had eaten before the operation. The anaesthetist, Dr Tak, reportedly tried to have a junior doctor carry out tests, which Dr Nainwal didn’t agree with.
“You stay within your aukat (limits),” Dr Nainwal, in green scrubs and surgery gear, is seen shouting at the anaesthetist. It quickly degenerates into shouting and name-calling, except the setting was not the streets but an operation theatre. A nurse and another doctor are seen trying to stop them and remind them that a surgery was on.
Dr Nainwal and Dr Tak have both been suspended.
The hospital’s top medical officer said the baby died of “severe birth asphyxia” or breathing troubles.
“We recorded statements of all the staff present in the operation theatre. As far as the patient is concerned there was no lapse in treatment… The patient was operated within three hours of being admitted,” said Dr Ranjana Desai.
A hospital panel will investigate the conduct of the doctors, who have both been removed, said Ami Lal Bhatt, principal of the Medical College of Jodhpur, which runs the hospital.
“This is condemnable… a violation of OT (operation theatre) discipline,” Dr Bhatt commented.