| Rajnis Patel at a hotel in Delhi where he had gone for a cricket tournament
Calcutta, June 3: For three hours before his fifth and final surgery, the 17-year-old cricketer lay bleeding on the floor outside the operation theatre in a stretcher, waiting for the doctors to show up.
That had been Rajnis Patel’s condition even in the weeks leading up to his death. He had been in SSKM Hospital since February 7 after breaking his left shinbone in a collision while playing cricket at Vivekananda Park. Yesterday, he died of “acute infection and blood loss”.
“This is no way for a young man like him to die,” his father, Manoj Patel, said today. “He has been a victim of apathy and negligence of the (orthopaedic) department’s staff ever since his admission to the hospital.”
Rajnis’ family recalled how Manoj would sit for hours on end in the hospital, dabbing the blood that continuously oozed from the boy’s wound. “After several requests, a nurse would come and change the bed sheet once a day. They never bothered to attend to him otherwise. We were left to do all the cleaning and console him when he was in acute pain,” said uncle Girish.
“All that the nurses would say is ‘Orokom lok dekhano baetha aamra onek dekhechi (We have seen a lot of such fake display of pain)’,” he added.
The nurses allegedly told the family they would have to bring medicines and bandages for Rajnis as they had “run out of them”. Few house-staff would check on the boy.
“I would plead with them to do something about the bleeding, but they would ask me to shut up,” Manoj said. On Sunday, a junior doctor even suggested that the family hoist Rajnis’ leg on a pole with a rope to stop the bleeding.
The boy’s relatives alleged that orthopaedic surgeon D.K. Majumdar would visit Rajnis once every few days. “He would hardly spend a minute near his bed. He seemed in such a hurry that he never explained the line of treatment or what would be done to arrest the bleeding,” said mother Munni.
“The doctors would laugh, chat and crack jokes with each other. But they never bothered to explain why my son was bleeding so much.”
The boy’s family has decided to go to the West Bengal Medical Council and the Consumer Redressal Forum for justice.