The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hospital faces flak for endoscopy death

Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals is in the thick of allegations again. A man from Midnapore died at the hospital on Tuesday after allegedly an unauthorised endoscopy. A complaint has been lodged with the Phoolbagan police station against the doctor concerned and the hospital management.

The charge comes within a fortnight of state fire services minister Pratim Chatterjee publicly slamming the hospital for committing some “glaring mistakes” in his blood sugar report.

Tapan Das, who was suffering from cirrhosis of liver, was initially admitted to Contai sub-divisional hospital after he vomitted blood on Sunday. On Tuesday morning, he was shifted to Apollo Gleneagles after he passed blood with stool. But around 1.30 pm, Das died while undergoing an endoscopy under Dr Mahesh Goenka, an eminent gastroenterologist.

“Why did Goenka do the endoscopy without our consent' My brother was better when we brought him from our village,” lamented Kaushik, Tapan’s elder brother, waiting at Nilratan Sirkar Medical College and Hospital where the post-mortem was being conducted.

Das was the sole bread-earner in the family comprising his wife, three-year-old child, his unemployed brother and his aged parents.

Goenka, however, maintained that he was left with no option but to conduct endoscopy to save the patient. “Das was bleeding profusely. I had to carry out endoscopy to know the cause of bleeding. We also put Sengstaken tube to stop bleeding but to no avail. He suddenly collapsed,” he said, adding that he had taken consent from the patient. “Das’ premature death is sad but there was no negligence on our part,” he claimed.

V. Satyanarayan Reddy, chief executive officer, said this was the first time that the management had to face charges of negligence from patients’ relatives ever since the hospital started functioning six months ago.

Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner of police, eastern suburban division, said a general diary was registered with the Phoolbagan police station on the basis of a complaint from the deceased’s brother. “Our officials have begun a probe. But we will have to take permission from a medical board before taking any action against the hospital authorities,” he added.

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