meningitis cases moved to National Hospital
Five women patients suspected to be suffering from meningitis, after
being administered spinal anaesthesia in state hospitals, are at
the Institute of Neurology of the Colombo National Hospital, according
to Hospital Director Dr. Hector Weerasinghe.
also said one male patient at the National Hospital too who had
undergone spinal anaesthesia for an operation is suspected to be
having meningitis.However, the male patient discharged himself on
his own accord without permission and has left, Dr. Weerasinghe
told The Sunday Times.
“We are not taking any chances and even if patients show slight
symptoms of meningitis we are investigating them,” he said.
far two young mothers have died of meningitis after spinal anaesthesia
was administered to them during Caesarean sections at the De Soysa
Hospital for Women and the Health Ministry has ordered that all
such stocks that had been ordered be taken off the shelf from state
hospitals. The post-mortems on the two dead mothers had confirmed
that they died of fungal meningitis.
women patients now being treated for meningitis at the Neurology
Institute are from the De Soysa Hospital and Castle Street Hospital
for Women and are believed to have contracted the infection from
However, there are fears that the current stocks of syringes and
needles being used at the De Soysa Hospital for Women, sent as replacements
for those withdrawn are also contaminated.
three stocks of syringes have been withdrawn on a Health Ministry
circular in view of this crisis but the ones sent as replacements
are also contaminated. You can see fungus growing inside the syringes,”
Dr. Bimantha Gunasekara, a doctor at the De Soysa Hospital who is
also Assistant Secretary of the GMOA, showing a syringe, said. “These
syringes are being used everywhere….in the Intensive Care
Unit, the operating theatres, the labour rooms and also in the wards
not only on mothers but also on newborn babies during vaccinations,”
did such contaminated stocks enter the system, he asks. “Who
was the contractor and who passed the supplies? All stocks should
come through the Medical Supplies Division. Weren’t random
checks done on the stocks? Should we expose our mothers and babies
to low quality stuff? The Health Ministry obviously does not seem
to be doing a proper job”, he said.
happens to the babies who are motherless because medical supplies
were contaminated. Shouldn’t they be paid compensation?”
Dr. Gunasekara queried.