BHUBANESWAR: Almost 12 hours after around 45 patients, most of them critically ill were shifted from the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhubaneswar, their relatives rued about lack of attention and infrastructure at the premier medical facility.
By 11 pm on Monday, 45 patients were rushed to AIIMS either directly from SUM Hospital or admitted through Capital Hospital. The patients and their relatives had to undergo a painful ordeal in moving out of the fire-ravaged floor of SUM Hospital, searching for an emergency vehicle.
A patient, Harihar Malla who was diagnosed with intra-cranial bleeding, succumbed to his internal injuries on Tuesday morning at AIIMS. Malla's death took the toll to 20. Out of the rest injured, the condition of one patient in casualty and one in the ICU is stated to be critical.
AIIMS authorities had readied disaster management beds with para-medical staff deployed on the corridor leading to the main building. However, the arrangements were not adequate to deal with patients who were just out from the ICU. Apart from the corridor, arrangements were made in the casualty to accommodate the incoming patients.
"The transit was not easy and utterly discomforting," said Padmabati Das, whose cousin Saroj Parida had a massive brain stroke and was admitted to the SUM hospital on Monday. "As soon as we came to know that a fire broke out in the second floor, we requested nurses for help. But no help was forthcoming," she said.
The family decided not to kill precious time by waiting. Parida’s wife and his cousin assisted him, literally dragging the patient to safety. They got help only after coming down two floors and got into an ambulance. "With medical apparatus in tact, we had great difficulty to bring him down,” said Das.
Currently, Parida is undergoing treatment for brain stroke at AIIMS while his family is contemplating to move to another private hospital in the City.Biswanath Behera, a leukaemia patient, was under treatment at SUM Hospital for three months. His family members were choked with emotion while narrating the harrowing experience they had while shifting Behera to AIIMS from the doomed floor which was engulfed by the fire.
Behera, a carpenter from Dumduma Housing Board Colony, has exhausted all his resources to battle cancer. On Monday, he was first ferried to Capital Hospital where the doctors refused to admit him and referred him to AIIMS. "I had to shell out `1000 to book a private vehicle to shift my husband from Capital Hospital, amidst complete chaos," said Behera’s wife Sanjukta.
The condition of Anjulata Palei’s husband, who is suffering from peptic ulcer, is severe. While the patient is surviving on nasal feeding for the last two weeks, his condition worsened after being evacuated from SUM Hospital.
"I had to rush my husband in an auto-rickshaw as no emergency vehicle was available outside the hospital campus at that time. The situation at AIIMS is no better," said Anjulata, a resident of Tangarpada in Keonjhar. She added that her family was contemplating to shift the patient back to SUM Hospital.
On Tuesday morning, Governor SC Jamir visited AIIMS and held discussion with Director Dr Geetanjali Batmanabane and Medical Superintendent Dr DK Parida on the condition of patients and infrastructure available in the casualty.
"I am in constant touch with Union Health and family Welfare Minister JP Nadda and have briefed him about the situation. The doctors and staff at AIIMS are fully prepared and trained to attend to the patients," Dr Geetanjali said. She however denied that there was any negligence towards patients shifted from SUM Hospital.