The three-member technical committee that was set up to probe the death of Rajeshwari B.G., who died of alleged mismatched blood transfusion at the State-run K.C. General Hospital on July 4, has exonerated the victim’s treating doctor K.G. Suresh and nurse, Lalitha, who had done the transfusion.

Following this, Dr. Suresh and Lalitha have been reinstated. According to the family of Rajeshwari, she had asked the nurse why she was being given B+ blood when she was O+ before the transfusion started. Instead of getting the confusion cleared, the nurse had allegedly continued with the transfusion.

The reinstatement of the medical staff now has deeply upset the family, which has decided to approach the court.

Health and Family Welfare Director B.N. Dhanya Kumar told The Hindu that the technical committee had not found any role of the doctor and the nurse in Rajeshwari’s death. “The main charges are against blood bank officer Renuka and laboratory technician Bhayalakshmi, who were responsible for giving the wrong blood. A separate departmental enquiry in on,” Dr. Kumar said.

When asked how the nurse — who was informed by the patient about the wrong blood group being administered to her — could be let off, Dr. Kumar said the technical committee comprising senior officials had investigated in detail and found that the doctor and the nurse were not responsible. “While attending to a patient in a hospital, there is a shared responsibility by different people. However, when the blood given by the blood bank staff was not of the right group, it is they (blood bank staff) who are responsible for the negligence. The committee has made this observation,” he said.

Family upset

Upset over the reinstatement, Rajeshwari’s sister, Jayalakshmi B.G., alleged that the hospital had even changed the blood group certificate by overwriting. “They changed the O+ group to B+ to cover up their negligence and the overwriting is clearly visible. With great difficulty we have managed to get a copy and have now submitted it to the CCB police,” she said.

“How could they not hold the doctor and nurse responsible? They are the ones who were the first contacts with my sister at the hospital. Besides, how can the nurse not check the blood when informed by my sister. We have been running from pillar to post to get a copy of the technical committee’s report. We even met Health Minister U.T. Khader who asked Commissioner V.B. Patil to give it to us. Mr. Patil made us wait for an entire day near his chamber and finally refused to give it. We are now planning to approach the court for justice,” she added.

Rajeshwari (24), who was suffering from aplastic anaemia, was given the blood on June 29 and when she took a turn for the worse she was shifted to Victoria Hospital on July 1 where she died early on July 4.

After the death, hospital authorities had denied any medical negligence. A senior doctor said Rajeshwari’s death could not be attributed to mismatched blood as she died 40 hours after the transfusion.

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