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Medical Care:

Staff Attitude:

98, HAL Airport Road, Kodihalli, Bengaluru 560017, KA


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The Death of a Hospital
Nov 06, 2009 02:59 PM 14846 Views
(Updated Nov 06, 2009 03:03 PM)


Medical Care:

Staff Attitude:

It was the 20th of September 19th and my wife Ranjini was calling from Bangalore.It was 4.00 AM in the morning. Quite unusual for someone who loves to sleep late.

Instantly I knew something was wrong. She asked me if I could come down to Bangalore immediately as she felt like going to a hospital. With that 4:00 AM call, my life changed forever. I reached Bangalore in the evening, and went straight to the hospital and the shock was waiting.

Dr.Padma Kumar , the doctor- in-charge of the critical care unit, took me to the counseling room and told me that my wife is suspected of swine flu and that she has been put on a ventilator and has been administered Tamiflu and other anti-biotics. While I protested that she had no symptoms of swine flu like fever, body ache , diahorrea etc; he sternly put it to rest stating that he has treated more than 25 swine flu cases with only 2 casualaities, which is some kind of a record and he is more than ‘ 99%’ certain that it was swine flu.

He also asked me to be prepared to see my wife on the ventilator atleast for three to four weeks. She was placed in an open ward in the MICU with other suspects and also some confirmed swine flu patients. I observed that visitors and even some nurses walking around the MICU without masks, compulsory requisite in such vulnerable conditions.

Day 1, I saw my wife completely sedated and on the ventilator, with tubes inserted all over her. Not a sight I expected to see for someone who went in with a breathing difficulty on account of her asthma.

Day 9, It was 5.45 in the morning when I received that dreaded call from the hospital. They asked me to come immediately and said it is a little serious. I rushed to the hospital only to find a group of doctors and staff around my wife giving her resuscitation . They asked me to wait in the counseling room. I watched thro the window, my wife lying lifelessly and being administered the resuscitation. Ten minutes later Dr.Jayanthi , one of the duty doctors, came in and told me ’ they did everything they could ’ but she died of pulmonary embolism. I pleaded with her to keep trying and said this cannot be possible. She left, and I never saw her again.

I know discussing any of this is not going to bring my wife back. This is just for those unfortunate souls who have also lost their loved ones. Only they can understand.

This is also for all those unsuspecting people who, despite knowing that these hospitals are capable of wiping out their life time’s savings in a matter of days, still place faith in it to save their loved ones. To them I would say, wake up ! Check first with a doctor you trust. Big hospitals mean nothing. Equipments mean nothing. It is the doctor behind all of this that counts. For Manipal Hospital, this is not top priority. Perhaps good doctors and nursing staff don’t come cheap. For peanuts you get only monkeys.

The doctors may think they have done their jobs. Or think so they did. But every life lost should be a cross they should bear the rest of their lives. Not be the passing of another statistical event in their career. “ 25 cases treated. Only 2 causalities ”.

To end my story, I am raising some questions below for which I don’t expect answers.

Question 1..

What made Dr.Padma Kumar feel so certain from his observations, that my wife had swine flu and that she immediately had to be put on a ventilator ? Patients put on a ventilator normally don’t walk up to an ICU by themselves. Did the paranoia of swine flu in Bangalore and his own record of treating swine flu cases scramble his thinking ? An expert’s skills are determined by his keen observation to quickly identify a genuine suspect. Not by immediately condemning them and starting them on a treatment

If she was a confirmed swine flu suspect, why was she not put in a isolated ward and not with other confirmed and suspected victims. Is it not raising the level of risk? Was he aware of the side effects of giving Taminflu? And that too on patients who can later turn out to be negative? In fact all the symptoms of the after effects of Tamiflu was seen on my wife AFTER the course was initiated …violent vomiting…severe dehydration… disorientation…swelling of face,

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Manipal Hospital - Kodihalli - Bangalore