A nurse placed adhesive tape on the mouth of a three-day-old male infant who was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, in an attempt to silence his crying.
In a disturbing incident at the Savitribai Phule Maternity Home, run under a public-private partnership program and located on LBS Marg in Bhandup (W), a nurse placed adhesive tape on the mouth of a three-day-old male infant who was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, in an attempt to silence his crying. This reckless action posed a significant risk to the child’s life. Following this incident, the nurse has been suspended by the health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and an investigation has been initiated.
Persistent complaints against staff
Allegedly, there have been persistent complaints regarding negligence and impolite behavior by this nurse and others at the hospital, but the hospital administration has failed to take appropriate measures. Rakesh Shetty, the working president of the Congress Seva Dal, has called for the nurse in question to face criminal charges. He stated, “I will be leading a delegation to the Bhandup police on Saturday to demand the most severe action against this nurse.”
Last week, Priya Kamble, a resident of Bhandup, was admitted to the maternity home where she delivered her baby. However, due to the baby’s jaundice condition, he was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). On the night of June 2, when Kamble went to breastfeed her child, she noticed that his mouth was taped shut, but she was unaware of the reason behind it. Despite her request to remove the tape and allow her to feed the baby, the nurse on duty refused and instructed her to return the next morning at eight o’clock. Kamble informed the nurse that the doctor had instructed her to feed the child every two hours. Frustratingly, when she revisited the NICU at 1 am, she discovered that the tape was still intact, as she shared with FPJ on Friday.
Nurse said she taped baby because he was crying
Regarding the incident, Kamble recounted her confrontation with the nurse, stating, “When I asked the nurse why she had taped my baby’s mouth, she replied that it was because the baby was crying. I was shocked to hear that. However, since my own son was admitted there, I didn’t want to escalate the argument.” She further observed, “I noticed that there were 2-3 more babies in the unit whose mouths were also taped.”
Concerned and seeking assistance, Kamble reached out to her family, who then sought the help of Jagruti Patil, an ex-corporator, to address the issue. Patil had the tapes removed from the mouths of the affected infants.
Patil launches complaint with hospital administration
Kamble stated that Patil lodged a complaint with the hospital administration regarding the nurse’s cruel behavior, which endangered the lives of newborns. Disturbed by the situation, Kamble decided to have her own child discharged from the maternity home and admitted to a hospital in Thane.
“We discovered that there had been numerous complaints filed against the nurses, as they were neglecting their duties by not changing clothes and diapers of the babies. Additionally, the nurses were not feeding the babies on time,” Kamble added, highlighting the broader issues with the nursing staff at the hospital.
Dr Daksha Shah, Deputy Executive Health officer of the hospital, was unavailable for a comment.