Trouble broke out at SSKM Hospital early on Thursday, after a three-day-old baby died from acute septicaemia. Parents of the baby and relatives alleged that he died because the hospital authorities were negligent.
When Bulbul Das gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Tuesday, both she and her husband Chiradeep were overjoyed.
“We were so happy when the doctors told us that the baby was in perfect condition,” a relative of the Das couple said. The couple was told on Wednesday that Bulbul could leave and take the child home with her.
Early on Wednesday, the couple left for Behala with the child. However, the baby started crying ceaselessly and soon it turned pale, prompting Chiradeep to consult local doctors.
“He is in bad shape. Shift him to a hospital immediately,” advised a Behala doctor.
Chiradeep rushed back to SSKM with his baby around 8.30 pm on Wednesday. The newborn was immediately admitted to the nursery of the paediatric ward and checked by experts.
“The doctors told us that the baby would be taken care of, and we all heaved a sigh of relief,” Chiradeep said. However, the baby's condition deteriorated and at 4.40 am, the doctors declared him dead.
As soon as news of the infant’s death spread across the hospital, local youths joined the Das family members in a massive agitation.
“They do this all the time. We cannot let them get away with this,” alleged the local youths, who went on the rampage, damaging hospital property.
Family members wondered why the baby was released when he was in such bad shape. They alleged that doctors and nurses were not present in the hospital to treat the child at night.
The demonstrators tried to single out the hospital superintendent and the doctors who treated the baby. They even attacked the paediatric wing.
Things came to such a pass that hospital superintendent, Deb Dwaipayan Chattopadhyay, at one point of time, considered sending an SOS to the local police for reinforcements.
“The infant was suffering from acute septicaemia. A team of doctors was attending to him but they could not do anything to save him. It is extremely unfortunate that this happened. But doctors do not possess magical powers,” Chattopadhyay said.
Later, a team from Bhowanipore police station went to the hospital and brought the situation under control.
“No one was arrested and, moreover, no one from either side has lodged any complaint with the police,” said the duty officer at Bhowanipore police station.
The hospital authorities looked into the allegations made by the family about the doctors not being present during the night. “We have checked the records and found that doctors were monitoring the child round the clock,” superintendent Chattopadhyay added.