A 75-year-old man fell into a sewer duct of a private hospital here in wee hours of Monday and died hours later triggering angry reactions from the family members.
Basant Kumar Sahu, a former block chairman of Bhapur block of Nayagarh, walked into the duct mistaking it for the bathroom and fell 10 ft into it before he was rescued by the staff of Vivekananda Hospital. He was admitted to the ICU, but succumbed.
While the family members alleged negligence on the part of the hospital staff, the latter said the attendants were not alert which led to the incident.
Sahu was admitted to the hospital on August 1. His family members said he was recovering and ready to be discharged on Sunday itself but the hospital wanted him to stay back for a day. At about 4 am, he wanted to go to the bathroom but walked into the duct which is located between two bathrooms.
“Had the nursing staff and attendants been alert, this would not have happened. Besides, why was the door for the duct not locked,” asked his son Santosh.
The hospital staff, however, refuted the charges and said the patient’s attendants were clearly instructed not to allow Sahu to go to the bathroom on his own.
“He had been going to the loo several times. Between 10 pm and 4 am, he went at least thrice. At 4.30 am, a nurse saw he was not on his bed and then Sahu was located in the duct,” said Pravat Patro, Manager (Operations) of the hospital.
Patro said the family members of the patient were negligent in attending to Sahu even though they were clearly instructed to seek assistance from nurses and hospital attendants.
However, the deceased’s family members, who went berserk, said they had no clue where Sahu was after he went missing. “Later we were informed that he had been admitted to the ICU,” Santosh’s wife said.
The hospital staff said the family was peeved because they did not want police to be informed. Patro said the family was furious when the hospital decided to intimate the police for a medico-legal case.