A man who met with an accident and suffered cerebral haemorrhage was left unattended for more than an hour at SSKM Hospital on Friday and then denied admission. This violates the state government rule that no critical patient can be turned away.
Kuldeep Yadav, 45, is now fighting for life in the intensive care unit of National Neurosciences Centre (NNC), where he underwent surgery.
Yadav, a resident of Park Street, was taking son Kapil, 10, for tuition on his motorcycle around 7.15 am on Friday. The vehicle collided with a car. While Kapil escaped with bruises, his father suffered serious head injuries.
Yadav was rushed to SSKM Hospital. “He was writhing in pain on a trolley in the emergency ward. A doctor came and inquired about his condition. He left after hearing our account, never to turn up again,” alleged Naval Sachdeva, a neighbour of Yadav’s.
In need of immediate medical intervention, Yadav had to wait for more than an hour before a CT scan could be conducted. The report revealed that he had suffered serious head injuries and developed brain contusion — swelling and haemorrhage in the brain and a clot outside, compressing the brain matter.
“We asked the doctors to speed up the admission process but, to our horror, they told us that Yadav could not be admitted as there was no bed,” said Rocky Saini, another neighbour. “Not even a painkiller was administered. Even the blood on his head and face was not wiped off.”
As his condition worsened, the neighbours decided to take Yadav to NNC, on the Peerless Hospital premises, where he underwent a three-hour decompressive craniotomy.
“He is still not out of danger, as there are other injuries deep inside the brain that have to be addressed with intravenous medicines,” said K. Sridhar, medical director and head of neurosurgery, NNC.
“In such a case, delay in intervention causes rapid deterioration and often the chances of survival are slim,” warned Sridhar.
A senior health department official confirmed that there was a “clear directive from the government that a hospital cannot deny admission to a critical patient, even if he has to be accommodated on the floor”.
But he added that even the floor of SSKM’s neurosurgery department is often overcrowded, with referral cases flooding the hospital.