Two days after a 17-month-old boy died reportedly because his empty oxygen cylinder was not replaced while being shifted to another hospital in an ambulance, it has come to light that the doctor in-charge at the city’s Sola Civil Hospital had citied non-availability of “ventilator (paediartic)”.
The transfer form stated “PICU (Paediatric intensive care Unit)/ Isolation/ Ventilator care (paediatric) non-available” as the reason for transfer. The form also mentioned that the child, Darshan Pagi, was admitted to the hospital on August 12 following H1N1 infection (swine flu), and he showed “signs of ARDS (acute respiratory distress)”.
While the name of the ward/in-charge doctor in the form has been stated as Dr Geet Gunjan, the health department claimed it was filled by Dr Mitesh Ramwani, senior resident, and the reason for transfer was “written wrong”. The Sola police station on Wednesday lodged an FIR against “the doctor on duty” on charges of negligence.
“The reason for transfer was written wrong. All the cylinders have enough oxygen. A team of senior doctors had checked the cylinders on August 15. We will be issuing a showcause notice to Dr Mitesh Ramwani, senior resident, who had filled the form,” Punamchand Parmar, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, told The Indian Express over phone. Parmar is leading the investigation into the case.
Earlier in the day at a press conference in Gandhinagar, Parmar said, “Under the insistence of the child’s parents, he was being taken to Civil Hospital (in Asarwa) in ICU on wheels. There were two oxygen cylinders in the vehicle. However, the technician inside the ICU on wheels could not replace the small cylinder of the patient with the one inside the vehicle. For that, we have constituted an inquiry and will take the necessary action.”
Meanwhile, Darshan’s father Pravin Pagi — who had claimed his son’s body on Tuesday after 21 hours of the death following a written assurance from the medical superintendent of Sola Civil Hospital and police of a through probe — again had to wait for around six hours at Sola police station on Wednesday before the FIR was registered.
“I was told that a committee will look into the matter and suspend the doctor. I think suspending means not letting them work for some time. But that is less. I will not give up. Just because we are poor does not mean we can be taken for granted. I was in the ambulance when my child died. I saw his gasp for breath and die while the doctor was trying to open the oxygen cylinder in the ambulance,” said Pravin Pagi, a daily wage labourer from Surendranagar.
“He died because the hospital staff did not check the oxygen cylinder. I am not sure if there was oxygen in his cylinder… On Sunday, no doctor came to check him and by the evening his condition started deteriorating,” he said. Darshan died at around 6.30 pm on Monday.
Conceding that the boy’s oxygen cylinder was not changed, Dr H K Bhavsar, medical superintendent of Sola Civil Hospital, said: ?”According to our information, the child was being transferred from one hospital to another as his condition was bad. He was being transferred in an ambulance or ICU on wheels. Along with the boy was the oxygen cylinder on which he was since the morning. The staff did not shift him to the oxygen cylinder in ambulance. There was one intern doctor, a driver and a conductor in the ambulance.” When asked the name of the doctor on duty Dr Bhavsar said, “Will give more details as soon as we hear from the investigation committee.”
M L Rajput, the police official investigating the case, said: “There are names of many doctors and we do not know who was the doctor on duty… We will go to the hospital tomorrow and find out more details.”