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Body of patient found in Sewri TB Hospital toilet: Incident highlights lack of bedpans, staff unwilling to escort patients to toilet

The issue of Covid-19 patients collapsing on their way to toilet is not new. And most cases are reported during night between 1 am and 5 am.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Updated: October 25, 2020 4:48:21 am
Hospitals have reported cases of head and limb injury of Covid patients attempting to walk till the toilet. (Tabassum Barnagarwala)

The death of 27-year-old Suryabhan Yadav in Sewri TB Hospital has brought back the issue of lack of bedpan facility for patients and lack of staff support for those who need help to walk till the toilet.

Yadav is suspected to have collapsed in the wee hours of October 4 when he made his way to the toilet in isolation ward. Fourteen days later his body was found in the toilet.

The issue of Covid-19 patients collapsing on their way to toilet is not new. And most cases are reported during night between 1 am and 5 am. In July, BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had issued special instructions to keep a bedpan beside every bed and provide a commode for every four beds. The commissioner had asked civic-run hospitals to use video surveillance to monitor patients. Hospital Deans had also instructed staff to remain vigilant during night. The move had come after a series of ‘fall episodes’ of oxygen supported patients in isolation wards at nig ht.

Despite the July circular, such steps were missing from Sewri TB hospital. The B-wing floor where Yadav was admitted has no CCTV cameras. Patients complained that nurse or ward boy neither provided bedpan nor helped them visit toilets. “They started asking us to call them for help only after his body was found in the toilet and inquiry was started,” a female patient from the isolation ward said.

Medical superintendent Dr Lalitkumar Anande said there is no shortage of bedpans for the 1,200 bed facility.

Similar complaints have come from other BMC-run hospitals. Hospitals have reported cases of head and limb injury of Covid patients attempting to walk till the toilet.

Asif Kodare, whose 70-year-old father was admitted in KEM hospital in August, said he had to bribe Rs 50-100 to ward boy to ensure his father’s diapers were changed and food was given. “My father weighed 130 kgs and was heavy. No staffer was willing to move him for toilet,” he said. His father Yasin Mohamed Kodare died 13 days after admission. For first two days, Kodare looked after his urination, toilet, and meals. Later he was shifted to a Covid ward. “It was not possible to take him to toilet, so he had to urinate on bed. My father didn’t have a phone. When I used to call on neighbouring patient’s phone they used to tell me no staffer comes to help my father,” Kodare said.

Anita, whose father Babur Rohit (65) was admitted in May, said she had to buy her own bedpan since hospital did not provide any in general ward. Kin started entering to help their patients. “My mother and I would take him to toilet, we used to change his bedsheets and clean his bed. Since there was shortage, my father was being treated on a stretcher,” she said.

In two days her father turned critical and was shifted to ICU. “There we were not allowed inside. We used to cry. We had given a bedpan but no staffer was there to help him urinate in it,” she said. Rohit died four days after admission.

 

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