Health authorities and police in the south central province of Binh Dinh are investigating a district medical center over for the death of a woman during delivery Thursday night that has left her family grieving and outraged.
Pham Thi Ngoc Lang, 40, died at the medical center of Hoai An District after an afternoon during which no doctors checked on her although she was in pain and was bleeding from her vagina, says her husband Trinh Sy Phu, 43.
Phu said his wife came to the center 200 meters from their home on Tuesday, but doctors said it was not her delivery time yet and sent her home.
She felt pain in her belly later and returned on Wednesday morning, and then started bleeding at around noon on Thursday.
"A nurse came, gave her a shot and medicine. She was in pain the whole afternoon, but no doctors came to check on her," Phu said.
He said doctors showed up at 6:30 p.m. and sent her to the surgery room for a c-section. A baby of 3.8 kilograms was delivered half an hour later, but they informed the family that Lang had died, without specific explanations.
Dr Phan Van Thanh, director of the center, was on the shift that day.
There have been many delivery deaths in the country this year. In many cases both the mothers and babies died.
News website VietNamNet recently quoted a survey by the Department of Women and Children's Health as saying that there had been 88 mother and baby deaths in the first six months. And media reports have reported many more since July.
The survey does not specify the problems or lay responsibility on any of the doctors or nurses involved though victims' families have accused the hospital of neglect after each death.
Many of the hospitals have explained most of the deaths as caused by placenta obstruction, a rare condition.
Several doctors and nurses have been suspended, transferred, or even had their licenses revoked.
Health authorities only allow that delivery-related complications remain a major challenge in Vietnam.
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