A week after seven-year-old Avinash Rout died of dengue after allegedly being denied admission in five hospitals, a five-year-old boy from Srinivaspuri succumbed to the virus on September 13. His family alleged that they struggled to get him a bed in many hospitals after his condition became critical.
Aman Sharma’s father, Manoj, said they first took their son to Safdarjung hospital on September 10 around 10 am after a private laboratory confirmed his dengue diagnosis. “Doctors looked at him but said there was no need for admission as his platelets were stable. So we took him home,” said the father. The same afternoon, Aman’s condition deteriorated and the family rushed him to the nearby Jeevan Hospital around 4 pm.
“He was admitted there for two days. But at 2.30 am on September 12, hospital authorities said Aman was slipping into a critical condition. They asked us to shift him to a higher centre as they did not have adequate infrastructure to treat him,” said Manoj.
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He said his son was shivering by then and had very high fever. “My son was crying with pain. We were completely helpless. At 3 am, we reached Moolchand Medcity. Doctors put him on drip but told us that they could not admit him as they lacked beds. They asked us to approach another hospital,” he said.
He said they started making calls to other hospitals. “We knew the situation of beds was very bad. We called Max and Batra hospitals and they said they did not have beds. We had no option but to take him back to Safdarjung hospital,” said Manoj.
He claimed that they reached Safdarjung at around 4 am. “There were two-three children on every bed. We were scared because they had turned us away earlier. But we still admitted him. But two hours were wasted as authorities did not make his card and no doctor attended to him,” his father said.
Finally, Manoj called Holy Family hospital where he was told a bed was available. “We rushed there and they admitted him. But doctors told us his condition was very bad. On September 13, at around 8 pm, he died,” Manoj said.
Safdarjung hospital said in a statement that Aman was admitted to the emergency ward at 4.44 am on September 13 from a private hospital. “The history chart given by the boy’s parents stated that two units of platelets had been transfused to him. He was sent to ward 18 where a doctor prescribed him medicines, including antibiotics, to bring down the fever. Around 5.30 am, the patient’s parents took him and left the hospital without informing authorities,” said the statement.
Dr Arvinder Aggarwal, director of Jeevan hospital, said Aman’s parents had been told in advance that they might have to shift him.
“His condition was deteriorating and we had told the parents repeatedly that we may have to shift him, as we do not have the resources to manage such a critical patient,” said Dr Aggarwal. A source from Moolchand Medcity said, “No patient by this name reported to the hospital from September 7-14.”
Batra hospital did not respond to calls. Max authorities said, “Based on the inquires made so far, we would like to state that Max Hospital, Saket, does not have any record of the patient (Aman Sharma) visiting the hospital…” Sources at Holy Family hospital confirmed that Aman was being treated for dengue and had died at the hospital.