Madurai: A pregnant woman and her foetus died after the young woman suffered an allergic reaction when she was being administered a drug to induce labour. Tension broke out at the government hospital in Ramanathapuram on Saturday as relatives and family members staged a protest after the woman died post delivering a stillborn.

The 21-year-old woman who goes by the name M Keerthika from RS Madai village, was admitted to hospital on Friday evening after she developed labour pains. She died in the early hours of Saturday after giving birth to a stillborn male. Alleging negligence on the part of the duty doctor and nurse, family members and relatives staged a protest inside the hospital, demanding action against them.

As agitators threatened to stage a protest by blocking the road, police and revenue officials held talks with them and persuaded to drop the stir. The officials assured a transparent enquiry into the maternal death and promised to obtain relief for the family from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Meanwhile, R Annakili, 35, niece of the deceased, lodged a complaint with collector K Veera Raghava Rao, alleging that Keerthika died due to dereliction of duty on the part of duty doctor and nurse and demanded action against them.

She said after Keerthika was admitted to the maternity ward around 7 pm on Friday, the duty doctor and nurse had asked her and others to wait outside. Later, they called and shouted at them saying Keerthika was not cooperating and left the ward in a huff.

On finding Keerthika struggling to breathe, she called the duty doctor again and a few minutes later, the nurse said Keerthika delivered a stillborn and asked her to buy some medicine. Later, the doctor shifted Keerthika to the Intensive Care Unit and informed the family members around 2 am that the she had also died.

Later, hospital authorities forced them to accept the body of Keerthika and the infant around 3 am, she claimed.

Acting on the complaint, collector directed Joint Director (public health) to conduct an inquiry and submit a report. Hospital sources said the woman died due to ‘severe anaphylaxis’ (life-threatening allergic reaction) after she was given Syntocinon, the drug to stimulate labour and uterus contraction. After she became allergic to the drug, the child died, and she delivered the stillborn.