The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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New shots in injection swap

Malda, Nov. 12: Doctors at Malda district hospital today did a volte-face, claiming Bhabes Basak who died yesterday after allegedly being administered an injection meant for another patient was given two shots of life-saving drugs before he died.

The post-mortem report mentions Basak died of lung failure and not due to any drug reaction.

Director of health services Prabhakar Chatterjee, who ordered a probe into the incident today, said over phone from Calcutta that Malda’s acting chief medical officer of health Gopal Sarkar had informed Basak’s family about his critical condition.

“Yesterday when the patient began sinking, two different injections were administered in an effort to revive him, but he could not be saved. Even then, I have asked the acting CMOH to submit a detailed report on the case. If there is any negligence involved, appropriate steps will be taken,” Chatterjee said.

Basak’s son, Amal, had filed an FIR yesterday with Englishbazar police station, alleging his father died after being administered an injection meant for the patient on the next bed who was suffering from stomach ulcer.

Nurse Sutapa Pal had yesterday admitted that Basak was given an injection meant for Makhan Das, the patient on the next bed, but refused to name the colleague responsible for injecting the shot.

What is surprising is that the patient’s bed ticket does not mention the injection given to him at 3.30 pm. Basak’s wife had claimed that the nurse had pushed the shot during that time and caused her husband’s death. The drug prescribed for Makhan was an antibiotic called Traxol.

Yesterday, attending doctor Himachal Das told an angry crowd demanding an explanation for Basak’s death that even if Traxol had been administered to the patient, it could not have triggered his death since it was a “harmless antibiotic”.

The question that remains unanswered is why had he not mentioned anything about the two life-saving drugs that his seniors today claimed had been administered to Basak, a few minutes before his death at 6.10 pm.

There was no mention about the two injections by even Sutapa Pal who had blurted out before BJP district secretary Adhir Karmakar that Basak had been injected Traxol meant for Makhan.

The nurses remained tight-lipped when asked about Sutapa Pal’s statement yesterday. The lady herself remained inaccessible.

“Five minutes before Basak died, the doctors gave him a Deriphylin and then a Dexona shot. Both are life-saving drugs and cannot cause a person’s death,” Sarkar said.

When asked about the Traxol injection that was allegedly administered in the afternoon, he said no such injection was given to the patient. “Even the bed ticket does not mention it and that is a proof that no Traxol was given to Basak,” he added.

“As soon as I heard of the trouble I had rushed to the ward last evening and I had a talk with his family members. They told me that the man was in a very bad condition for some time. I also checked with the bed ticket about the Traxol injection but nothing of that sort was administered to him at 3.30 pm. But we are probing the allegation,” Sarkar said.

He added that the hospital superintendent had been asked to submit a report within 24 hours. The report and the autopsy file will be sent to Chatterjee at Writers’ Buildings.

Amal today alleged to have come under pressure from the hospital authorities to take his father’s body and leave.

“They told me a post-mortem would be futile and that I should take the body and leave. I told them that the question did not arise since we had not purchased any medicine from the hospital and my father had been given a wrong injection by mistake. The nurse herself came to tell us about the error. I want justice,” Amal said.

The post-mortem was conducted today by district hospital superintendent Maniklal Das, medical officer of the police hospital S.S. Samanta and assistant chief medical officer of health Ajoy Das.

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