The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Another virus: injection swap

Malda, Nov. 11: The family of a patient today claimed he died after being administered an injection meant for another person at the district hospital here.

The doctor concerned said though he had no confirmation yet whether or not an injection was administered to Bhabes Basak, the drug prescribed for a patient on an adjacent bed was Traxol, a harmless antibiotic.

Nurse Sutapa Pal admitted Basak was given an injection meant for Makhan Das, a stomach-ulcer patient, but was silent on which nurse pushed the syringe. “I will tell the name only to the superintendent,” she said.

Basak’s son filed an FIR at Englishbazar police station. An autopsy will now be conducted.

Basak, 54, of Nunbohi in Englishbazar police station limits, was admitted to the medical ward on Thursday with high fever and severe chest congestion.

His wife, Draupadi, who was at his bedside, said a nurse came in with an injection and administered it to Basak.

“He began feeling drowsy and I called for the doctor, Himachal Das, who arrived and said he was all right. But my husband passed away a few hours later,” she said.

Amal said his father seemed all right when he visited at 3 pm. “I spoke to him for about 30 minutes and left. After 5 pm, I heard he had passed away,” he said, after filing the FIR.

The injection was apparently meant for Makhan. Himachal was his doctor as well.

Soon after the news spread, several BJP supporters led by Malda district chief Adhir Karmakar barged into the crowded ward and confronted the doctors and the nurses.

Himachal tried to explain as he sat surrounded by the shouting agitators. “The patient who expired had a very bad lung condition. Pus had formed in his lungs and he could have sunk any moment,” he said. “Even if the antibiotic (Traxol) was given to him, it could not be the cause of his death.”

Karmakar demanded autopsy by a doctor unattached to the hospital. “We want a high-level inquiry.”

The hospital’s acting superintendent, Pradip Chakraborty, said: “I have to speak to all concerned to know what has actually happened.”

Bimal Sarkar, district secretary of the CPM-dominated West Bengal Association of Health Service Doctors, said: “How do we know that Basak was not administered the right injection' This is not something for the patient party to know.”

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