Updated: June 29, 2020 6:56:15 pm
A coronavirus patient at Government Chest Hospital in Hyderabad died after doctors allegedly refused to put him on ventilator support last week. Hospital authorities, however, refuted the allegations and said the patient died after he developed myocarditis.
In a video, which he shot at the isolation ward of the hospital before he died, and was addressed to his father, 35-year-old V Ravikumar said doctors did not provide him with a ventilator even after he complained of breathing problem. “I have been pleading with them to put me on a ventilator for the last three hours. I am struggling to breathe and feel like my heart has stopped. They are not listening to me. They are not putting me on a ventilator,” he said.
“Bye, daddy. Bye all, bye daddy,” he added.
Ravikumar was admitted to the hospital with fever and breathlessness on June 24. While his swab samples were collected on the same day, the results were awaited. He passed away two days later. The laboratory report on June 27 confirmed that he was positive for the viral infection.
Speaking about his ordeal in finding a hospital bed, the deceased’s the father said: “My son was suffering from high fever on June 23. All hospitals denied his treatment, suspecting he was suffering from coronavirus, and demanded a test report first. We visited at least 12 hospitals and yet no one gave admission without a test report.”
The next day, the family visited a private laboratory in Karkhana where the staff directed them to another of their branches in Moosapet as they were loaded with test samples.
After visiting several hospitals, including government hospitals like Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and Gandhi General Hospital, Venkateswarly said his son was admitted to Chest hospital on June 24.
When contacted, Dr Mahboob Khan, the superintendent of the Government Chest Hospital in Erragadda, said the allegations were baseless and maintained that the patient passed away after developing myocarditis.
In the video, Ravikumar can be seen with nasal prongs for supply of oxygen.
“He was a suspected Covid patient. We admitted him to the isolation ward and put him on oxygen supply. His saturation levels were maintained. Unfortunately, he developed myocarditis and this led to a sudden collapse of the heart. That is what happened in his case,” the superintendent told indianexpress.com.
The official confirmed that the test result for coronavirus was received only a day after his death.
Responding to media, health minister Eatala Rajender Monday said that Ravikumar was admitted into Chest Hospital immediately after he visited the hospital despite many other hospitals turning him away.
“The need for a ventilator is for the doctor to decide. Ravikumar can be seen having an oxygen supply. He had a heart issue. His lung was not affected. He died of Myocarditis”
Lashing at media reports, he said one should follow the medical bulletin released by the government and not depend on videos and reports shared on social media by irresponsible persons.
“Patients are allowed to use a cell phone to talk to their family members and instead they go around taking videos and sending them outside. Because of such deeds, patients who are in real need of care get impacted. One should not do such things,” he stressed.
Reiterating that the state government is equipped to handle a rise in critical cases, he pointed out that only 600 of the 2000 Covid beds are occupied to date at Gandhi General Hospital. While Gandhi General Hospital is exclusively meant for COVID treatment, four other hospitals, namely, the King Koti hospital, Government Chest Hospital, Osmania General Hospital and Government Fever Hospitals are COVID designated hospitals, he said.
Adding to this, Special Chief Secretary A Shanti Kumari clarified that anyone with a suspicion of coronavirus disease symptoms and wishes to get tested should visit King Koti hospital instead of visiting other hospitals.
“This has to be very clear. King Koti hospital is the out-patient center for COVID care and it is open round the clock for walk-ins,”
On Sunday, 983 fresh cases were reported in the city. Telangana’s Covid-19 tally cases stood at 14,414 as of June 28. Of them, 9,000 are active and under treatment. The death toll has reached 247.
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