Burdwan, Nov. 21: An elderly woman who was brought to a Burdwan hospital today with abdominal pain died of heart attack following a three-hour delay in treatment during which she was allegedly refused admission in the emergency ward and her son forced to cart her across departments, buy a ticket to see a doctor and stand in a queue.
After the death of Ulangini Das, who had been diagnosed with gall bladder stones earlier this month, at Burdwan Medical College Hospital (BMCH), her son Buddhadeb had to wait another five hours for the death certificate. She had to be admitted to the hospital three hours after death because a death certificate cannot be issued without admission.
Buddhadeb, a marginal farmer, has lodged a complaint of negligence in treatment with the acting superintendent of the hospital, Tapan Mukherjee. “I have received the complaint. It appears that the doctor in the emergency ward could not gauge the serious condition of the patient. I will inquire into the matter,” Mukherjee said.
Tapas Ghosh, the deputy superintendent of the hospital, said Ulangini, 60, died of heart attack “apparently because she could not bear the pain”.
Buddhadeb said his mother complained of acute abdominal pain on Saturday morning. “She had been admitted to BMCH on November 7. Doctors had then told me that she had stones in her gall bladder. She was released after two days,” Buddhadeb said.
“This morning, I hired an Omni car and brought my mother to the hospital a little before 8am. I wheeled my mother into the emergency ward on a trolley. The on-duty doctor examined her and went through the earlier prescriptions. I told him that my mother was in intense pain and needed immediate hospitalisation. But the doctor asked me to take her to the outdoor department. I requested him to admit my mother immediately but he didn’t listen,” Buddhadeb said.
He then carried Ulangini on the trolley to the outpatient department 300 metres away. “I asked my 72-year-old father to sit beside my mother as I stood in a queue to buy a ticket for Rs 2 to consult a doctor. I had to stand in the queue for 45 minutes. Then we had to wait again for our turn. By the time a doctor examined my mother, it was already past 10.45am,” Buddhadeb said.
“The doctor referred her to the surgery department nearby. She died while a surgeon was examining her,” he added.
“My mother died without any treatment. After she was declared dead, I kept her body on the trolley and ran to the (acting) superintendent for the death certificate. My mother’s body lay in the surgical outdoor department till 2pm. Then I was asked to take the body to the emergency ward and from there, I had to take her to the medicine ward for female patients in another building. My dead mother was admitted to the ward and kept on the trolley until I got the certificate around 3.30pm,” Buddhadeb said.