A 68-year-old diabetic patient, who felt uneasy early Saturday morning, died nearly three hours later as his family could not find an ICU bed for him in the city’s top hospitals. The district collectorate, however, said there was no shortage of ICU beds in Pune and patient’s families should first contact government and civic hospitals in emergency situations.
The deceased, Tanaji Dudhane, lived in Wadgaonsheri area. Anant Dudhane, his brother, said he made desperate attempts to find a bed for his ailing brother in the intensive care units of top hospitals in Pune city, but the hospitals turned them away, saying they had no ICU bed available.
“My brother started feeling unwell after midnight… we rushed him to Ruby Hall Clinic at 3 am… but he was denied admission due to the non-availability of a bed in the ICU ward,” said Anant.
He said the family members then rushed to Inlaks Budhrani Hospital and faced a similar situation there. “There was no ICU bed available,” he said.
“We checked with all other major hospitals in the city, like Jehangir, KEM, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospitals, over the phone, but heard the same thing,” said Anant.
“Finally, at 5.20 am, we admitted my brother to Sasoon Hospital, where he suffered a severe heart attack and died at 6 am. His sugar level at 3 am was around 200 and three hours later, when he suffered a heart attack, it was 400,” he said.
Anant said even at Sassoon Hospital, no ICU bed was available, and Dudhane was taken to the casualty ward. “By the time they formed a cardiac team, my brother had died. Precious time was lost in getting treatment… timely treatment could have saved my his life,” he said.
A Ruby Hall Clinic spokesperson said, “When the patient was brought to us, he was breathless and had fever. His oxygen saturation had dipped to 80 per cent, which is far below the normal oxygen saturation of 94 per cent. The patient had all the Covid symptoms, but we gave him primary treatment. We provided him oxygen support and stablised his condition. But unfortunately, we did not have ICU beds available and hence requested that the patient be taken to other hospital. We even offered our ambulance service…”.
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram, however, said there was no shortage of ICU beds in Pune. “We have nearly 2,000 ICU beds, of which around 400 have patients. This means we have adequate ICU beds available,” he said.
Urging families to contact civic or government hospitals during an emergency, Ram said, “Sometimes, private hospitals lie about availablity of ICU beds. So, families of patients in distress should contact government hospitals. In this case, had the patient been brought to Sassoon first, we would have directed him to the appropriate hospital as per his condition and the situation at the hospital.”
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