The families of three patients, including a two-year-old girl, who died in three different private hospitals in Kolkata on Wednesday have filed police complaints alleging medical negligence. The incidents were followed by protests by the families and a heated argument with the hospital administration in one of the cases.
A protest was held outside AMRI Hospital in Mukundapur on Wednesday following the death of two-year-old Oyetri Dey, a resident of Sonarpur, Kolkata. According to her family, she was admitted to the hospital’s paediatric ward after they brought her to the OPD with a “severe cough, cold and fever” on Monday.
The family claimed she was recovering, but on Wednesday morning, a nurse allegedly administered two injections, after which she began to experience a shortage of breath, and died subsequently.
“My daughter was fine. She even played last night and video-chatted with her father. I was all set to take her home today. In the morning, a nurse came with two injections. She gave her those and within seconds, my daughter started responding strangely. I felt she wasn’t able to breathe. She is a patient of acute bronchitis. I saw she needed oxygen but as per hospital staff, the baby oxygen mask was kept in some other ward and it took them so much time to bring it. My daughter kept saying maa…maa…and then she died. I need justice,” said Oyetri’s mother Shampa Dey, crying.
“She was suffering from acute respiratory distress with croup and stridor and high fever for the past one day when she was brought to the OPD. With an immediate administration of nebulizer with Asthalin and Budecort at the Emergency, the child was shifted to ward for admission,” read a statement issued by the hospital authority.
“On January 17, 2018, she suffered a sudden convulsion with fever in the morning. Her clinical status was being monitored by paediatric ward doctor. After the convulsion, she was administered with three sprays of Midazolam intra nasally and IV Paracetamol as she had a fever too. She had only received Inj Rantac today morning, prior to the convulsion. Thereafter she was detected to have an unrecordable pulse and Code Blue was called and resuscitation attempts started. However, after several attempts at resuscitation, she did not respond. She was shifted to PICU with help of bag mask ambu under supervision of Code Blue Team and was intubated there. Even after 9 cycles of CPR and administration of Inj Adrenaline, she did not show any recovery of her cardiac, neurological and respiratory status…all kinds of proper treatment had been undertaken and no medical negligence took place on the part of the hospital. Based on the allegation of negligence, the hospital management strongly demanded an autopsy of the deceased to examine the exact cause of death or any latent congenital defect which was not mentioned by the patient party at the time of admission,” it further said.
Oyetri’s family also allegedly had an altercation with AMRI Unit Head Jayanti Chattopadhyay. Soon after, the family and a group of local residents started protesting within the premises. Chattopadhyay claimed she was “manhandled” by the protesters.
The hospital responded to The Indian Express’ queries via an email which said: “…When the unit head went to pacify them (the family), they started mobbing her. Situation got worse and they manhandled the lady unit head to which she protested in self-defence. When she protested, the patient party went totally out of control and ensued a huge chaos in the hospital premises and threatened to vandalise the hospital property unless she apologises and gets arrested. The concerned unit head tendered unconditional apology to normalize the situation. Despite this, the patient party kept on agitating and physically pushed both the unit head and the CEO of the hospital. The hospital management is lodging a formal complaint at the local police station against the physical harassment of the lady unit head and the attempted vandalism within the hospital premises (sic)”. As per the hospital, Oyetri was administered “adrenaline nebulisation, IV Augmentin, IV Rantac and one dose of IV Decdan”.
“She also had high blood count of 18,000+ (TC) and raised CRP, with congestion around hila of lungs. She started improving under medication and was doing well,” the hospital further said.
The AMRI management said, “We have set up an investigation committee to look into the incident today. The unit head of AMRI Mukundapur, Jayanti Chatterjee, has been asked to go on leave till the investigation is over.”
A senior police officer said, “There was tension at AMRI over the death of a baby girl followed by alleged ill-behaviour by the HOD of the hospital…The patient party has filed two complaints at Jadavpur police station — one for negligence in treatment and another over misbehaviour by staff.”
Apollo Gleneagles, EM Bypass
On Wednesday morning, Aloke Kumar Das (55), a staff member of Rajbazar Science College, was brought to Apollo Gleneagles Hospital in an ambulance after he complained of “uneasiness and shortness of breath”. His family alleged that he was kept in the ambulance, waiting for treatment for about an hour. Ankita Talukdar, a relative, told reporters, “The hospital refused to admit him, saying they had no bed. Had they taken him in, he would have been alive.” The family has lodged a complaint against the hospital authorities at Phoolbagan police station.
Hospital authorities, however, denied the allegations. “On 17th January, 2018, at 7.45 am an ambulance with a patient Shri Aloke Kumar Das (55) reached the hospital. Hospital has been experiencing very heavy emergency load since yesterday, it was immediately communicated to the patient’s relatives that no beds were available and Emergency was full with all doctors being extremely busy. However, our doctors attended to the patient at the earliest possible time. Examination of pulse showed no heartbeat and no lung sound was audible. Further, there was no corneal reflex and the pupils were fixed and dilated. Accordingly, at 8:12 am, the patient was declared dead due to sudden cardio respiratory arrest following Triple Vessel Coronary Artery Disease (TVCAD) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD),” said a statement issued by the hospital.
“Aloke Kumar Das was in critical condition when brought in. The hospital authority pronounced him dead on arrival. This triggered anger among the patient party, who alleged that delay in attending to the patient cost him his life. Local police intervened. No staff were heckled. No property was damaged,” said a police officer.
Woodlands Hospital, Alipore
Two days after he met with an accident on the Maa flyover while on his way to work, Gautam Pal (35), an accountant, breathed his last at Woodlands Hospital in Alipore on Wednesday. He was initially admitted to Chittaranjan National Medical College, after which he was shifted to Woodlands by his family.
“My brother had sustained injuries on his legs. We brought him to this hospital on January 15. The doctors performed a surgery and informed us that he was fine and that they would do another surgery after a day or two, so we should arrange Rs 10 lakh. No one informed us that he had an injury on any other important part of his body. My brother even video-chatted with his friends yesterday. Suddenly, we received a call from the hospital at around 8.30 pm that his condition was not good. After we reached at around 10.30 pm, they told us Gautam was no more. We want an inquiry,” Ashutosh Das, Pal’s cousin, told The Indian Express.
Pal’s family has filed a complaint alleging negligence on the part of the hospital at Alipore police station. “At around 11.45 am, about 45-50 people of the patient party assembled at Woodlands Hospital alleging negligence in treatment. Local police intervened immediately and the mob was dispersed,” said a police officer.
When contacted, a hospital official declined to matter on the matter.