Pakistani doctors are battling to save the life of a woman found to have had a pair of forceps lodged inside her since a caesarean birth a year ago, a hospital official said on Thursday.
Shehzadi Shahida Sultana, 30, gave birth to a baby girl after a caesarean operation in February 2005 at the Liaquat Hospital in Jamshoro, a town near the southern city of Hyderabad.
She was brought back to the same hospital last week after pain she had suffered for the past year worsened, said Abdul Mateen Arian, the hospital’s deputy medical superintendent.
“Her relatives brought her to hospital when her condition became very serious and she had severe pain,” he said. “She had been visiting doctors near her house and quacks but she never came to us.”
Arian said an X-ray revealed a pair of forceps that had been left in her abdomen since the caesarean.
These were removed in another operation, but Sultana was still in intensive care. “Her condition is still serious and she is in septic shock,” he said.
Arian said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident. Poor health facilities often lead to medical complications in Pakistan, particularly in rural areas.
According to the Asian Development Bank, about 30,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth each year in Pakistan, one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, and 10 times this number develop life-long, pregnancy related disabilities.
Revision date: June 14, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD