Madhya Pradesh health officials conduct searches on the drug company in Indore

Cases have been registered against the manufacturer and supplier of the suspected killer intravenous (IV) fluid bottles in two major hospitals in Jodhpur — Umaid Hospital and Mahatma Gandhi Hospital — after the deaths of 12 pregnant women in 10 days from February 13. The authorities have seized 10,000 bottles of IV fluid from the stocks of the Indore-based manufacturer Parental Surgical India Pvt. Ltd.

Reports on Friday said the Madhya Pradesh authorities, on the basis of information from the Rajasthan police, carried out a search on the godown of the pharmaceutical company to confiscate the remaining stock. The preliminary enquiries by a six-member medical team, headed by Narendra Changani, Medical Superintendent at the Umaid Hospital, indicated the presence of fungus in the IV fluid.

Seven pregnant or newly delivered women, admitted to the Umaid Hospital, and another five in the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, had bled to death reportedly after administration of the IV fluid on them. Five more women are in a serious condition in the two hospitals. The incident first surfaced in the Umaid Hospital and some of the women admitted there were shifted to the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital. However, the deaths continued.

Though the suspicion is on the IV fluid being infected, the authorities are said to be critically examining the condition of the labour rooms and the operation theatres in these hospitals. The medical authorities are at a loss to explain why the same IV fluid did not cause any death in other patients.

While the divisional headquarter city witnessed protests and road blocks daily in the past few days, action against the pharma firm and the local distributor sparked an agitation by medical store owners and pharmacy suppliers.