KOLKATA: A workaholic 48-year-old doctor died of cardiac arrest minutes after reviving the heartbeat of a newborn at a Public Health Centre in Patanda village in Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal.
General duty doctor Bibhas Khutia collapsed at the labour room of the PHC while trying to revive the heartbeat of Sonali Kulia Maji's baby girl. He was brought dead to Panskura Superspeciality Hospital.
The doctor was trying to revive the heart of the baby, who did not cry after birth, by giving her Cardiopulmonary Resusciation (CPR) when he himself encountered a massive cardiac arrest. The nurse assisting the doctor in the delivery claimed that the doctor collapsed on the ground as the baby cried out.
"Dr Khuntia seemed alright when he entered the labour room for the normal delivery. However, when he was giving CPR, he lost balance and slowly leaned back with the baby still in his hand and blurring out cries. Group D staff Ramaprasad Roy held him and I held the baby," said nurse Paromita Bera, who was present at the labour room during the incident.
The doctor was administered oxygen at a private nursing home while being taken to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
"Dr Khuntia died of cardiac arrest while trying to save a newborn in the labour room. It is our great loss," said District Chief Medical Officer Nitai Chandra Mondal said.
The doctor was suffering from heart ailments and was advised a few months ago to undergo coronary angiography, sources revealed. However, he did not pay any heed to his medical state.
The bachelor doctor was known for his dedication to work and was instrumental in establishing a female ward and a labour room at the PHC to ensure institutional delivery in the rural areas. During his decade-long service at Patanda PHC, he would often stay back at the PHC and work 24 hours at a stretch during a shortage of manpower and was known for buying medicines and food for needy patients visiting him.
Despite getting transfer orders several times, locals stopped his transfer every time through agitation and he served in the PHC for more than a decade. Despite owning a house in Panskura town 17 km away, he stayed at the PHC quarters so that he could serve the locals better.
The West Bengal Doctors' Forum issued a statement mourning the loss of the dedicated doctor.