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BBMP slaps notice on hospital for Covid patient's death after denial of bed
Civic body issued orders to pvt hospitals to reserve 50% beds for patients referred by it
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) issued a show-cause notice to Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Vasanthnagar, for denying admission to a Covid patient whose bed was booked through the government's Centralised Hospital Bed Management System (CHBMS). The patient Tabrez succumbed to the disease.
In order to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and also to ensure the availability of resources to treat the patients, the government has directed the private medical establishments to reserve beds for the treatment of patients referred by the public health authorities. The Commissioner of BBMP has issued an order to private hospitals to reserve 50 per cent beds for Covid patients referred by it.
"As per the above mentioned order, you were supposed to admit Mr. Tabrez, BU-469942 and provide necessary treatment. Since you have denied the admission, which eventually led to his death. Therefore, you are hereby directed to give an explanation within 24 hours of receipt of this notice. Failing which, necessary action will be initiated under the Disaster Management Act 2005 and Karnataka Private Medical Establishınents Act 2007," the BBMP order signed by the Chief Health Officer said.
The 31-year-old patient was first admitted to a hospital in Madivala and later shifted after he tested positive for coronavirus. It was then the family contacted Ibhrahim, a member of the Emergency Response Team where the volunteers help the underprivileged in booking beds and helping them get treated for Covid.
Mohammad Ismail who coordinated with the family to book the bed said, "My number was shared with patient's attendant and I received the call from him saying he left the hospital in an ambulance for his residence in Shivaji Nagar. The attendant didn't know how much oxygen was left in the ambulance cylinder neither was there an Oximeter to check his SPO2."
At 7:30 p.m. the request to book the bed was made and after frantic calls HDU bed was blocked at the Jain Hospital. When the ambulance reached the hospital they were told there was no bed available.
Ismail, and the Chief Medical Officer spoke to the doctor at Jain from the Covid war room but to no avail.
The oxygen cylinder in the ambulance was getting low and though the request was made to the hospital to assist with oxygen for some time till alternative arrangement was made, it was rejected.
At 9 p.m. the bed was blocked at Jain Hospital's branch in Girinagar. But by the time the ambulance reached there, the patient was again told that there was no bed.
"The CMO and I made a call again and spoke to the doctor. But they simply refused to take the patient stating that they had not yet started taking government-sponsored patients. They kept on saying that they didn't have a bed. I requested them to check his vitals. The call was returned saying the SPO2 was 25 percent.
Again, a lot of calls were made pleading that the hospital keep him in the emergency room and give him oxygen for some time till we found a bed," Ismail added.
After a delay of half an hour when the hospital finally took him into the emergency room, the patient's SPO2 had dropped to seven percent.
"When he was put on oxygen his SPO2 level had gone up to 57 percent. But this was not enough. He needed a ventilator. At 12:40 a.m. the patient's attendant said he had found a bed in one of hospitals in Koramangala and would like to shift there. Meanwhile there was constant pressure from the hospital to shift the patient out. He was taken to the Koramangala hospital where he died at 4 a.m. In this entire episode I would like to highlight the negligence of the hospitals for not updating the portal with right information and playing with the lives of people. The hospitals should not take this lightly as a patient is sent to them based on the availability of the beds shown in the portal. I fear that patients may not get beds even after they are blocked by 108," Ismail said.