BENGALURU: A 33-year-old Covid patient died on Saturday morning despite frantic efforts by an emergency response team volunteer to save him. Mohammed Ismail, a software engineer and Covid volunteer, went to three hospitals, looking for a bed for the patient from 6.30 pm on Friday till 1 am on Saturday.
“I received a call around 6.15 pm from a hospital in Vasanthnagar saying that a patient admitted there has tested positive and needs to be admitted to a Covid-designated hospital,” he said. He called 108 helpline and arranged for a bed at Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital in Vasanthnagar. But when he reached there with the patient, the bed was not available.
“The staff there was not even ready to check his vitals. The ambulance that was sent didn’t have enough oxygen for the patient. We had to rush him to an NGO in Shivajinagar which provided an oxygen cylinder. After repeated requests to 108, we were told to wait and then given a bed at Mahaveer Jain Hospital in Girinagar,” he said.
But by the time they reached Girinagar, the patient’s oxygen saturation level had fallen to seven and there was no bed available even there. After repeated requests, the patient was admitted in the emergency room and provided oxygen, but the hospital refused admission. Around 1 am, the patient was shifted to Marvel Hospital in Kormangala, when his oxygen saturation level was 57.
Unfortunately, the precious five hours spent looking for a bed proved too much for the patient, who died at 4 am on Saturday. As Covid cases continue to rise, patients are struggling to find beds in government and private hospitals in the city. Government hospitals ask the patients’ kin to shift non-Covid patients immediately after test reports return positive.
Educationist and founder of Bengaluru Covid Helpline, Ameen E Muddassar, told TNSE that he got a call around 4 am from a person looking for a bed for his mother, who was admitted to a private hospital on Saturday around 4 pm due to cardiac issues. Though the treatment began around 10.30 pm, the patient tested positive and they were asked to shift her immediately to another hospital. “For six hours, we did not find a bed. The patient’s son called many hospitals but not a single bed was available. It is unfortunate such things are happening. Now, people have to take Covid seriously,” said Ameen.
The BBMP chief health officer has sent a show-cause notice to Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Vasanthnagar, seeking an explanation on why the patient was denied a bed in spite of blocking it through CHBMS. It said, “Since you have denied admission, which eventually led to death, you are hereby directed to give an explanation within 24 hours of receipt of this notice.”