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4 hours extra to release body

Siliguri, April 17: It took eight hours and the intervention of the principal to release the body of a 17-year-old boy from North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH).

Jagadish Burman from Dinhata in Cooch Behar was under treatment at the sub-divisional hospital in his hometown for symptoms of a jaundice-like disease. “On the advice of doctors there, we shifted him to NBMCH on Monday afternoon,” said his uncle Biswanath Burman.

Burman also said during the treatment, doctors at the NBMCH told the family that water had accumulated in Jagadish’s stomach and he had developed some complications.

“Around 10.20am today, I came to know that my nephew died. Forty minutes later, the staff on duty confirmed the news,” said Burman.

Knowing that the body would be released after four hours — as is the usual practice — Burman started informing the relatives about the death and arranged a vehicle to take the body to Dinhata.

“When I went to the ward at 3pm, the staff told me that the resident medical officer (RMO) was not present. And since nobody else was there to issue the death certificate, the body could not be released,” he said.

“I waited for another four hours and it was 7pm when I got the body and the death certificate. The delay made it inconvenient for us to start for Dinhata tonight and perform the last rites,” Burman added.

NBMCH sources said the body had been lying in the ward for hours and the initiative to release it was taken only after the principal, Udayan Ganguly, who was out to attend an administrative meeting, returned to the hospital.

Ganguly said he asked a junior doctor to sign the death certificate and release the body. He added that he would inquire why the RMO was absent for so many hours.

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