A 65-year-old man with malaria has alleged that a hospital provided him with the wrong treatment, causing his condition to deteriorate further. Omprakash Chandak, who was diagnosed with malaria on October 3, claimed to have received treatment for dengue at the hospital.
The hospital declined to comment on Chandak’s allegations. The administration head of the hospital claimed to be out of the city and said he would be able to comment only later. The administration head also refused to give the name or number of anyone else who would be able to speak on behalf of the hospital.
Chandak was admitted to the Sahyadri Hospital in Bibwewadi in the afternoon on October 3 and his blood samples were sent for pathological tests. Chandak’s relatives said though malaria vivax was detected on the same day, the hospital did not inform them about it and continued with dengue treatment for more than 24 hours of his hospitalisation.
The relatives said the wrong line of treatment continued till Chandak’s son-in-law, Prateek Jadia, saw the reports. “As my father-in-law had fever and shivering, we reached Sahyadri hospital at 2 pm and my father-in-law was admitted after two hours, that is around 4 pm, without any primary check-up,” Jadia said. “Then blood samples were collected for tests on the same day.”
Chandak’s relatives waited for one day, but the doctors did not inform them about the progress of the patient. On the second day, when the relatives realised that there was no improvement in Chandak’s condition, they accessed the report that said he was given treatment for dengue and not malaria.
“When I snatched the report to see it, I was surprised to see detection of malaria had been done the previous day itself, but treatment for the dengue was being given till the second day of hospitalisation,” Jadia said. “When I raised an alarm regarding the report, they tried to avoid the situation. Also, according to the second day’s report, platelets dropped compared to the first day.”
Jadia said when he reported the matter to the reception staff, the people there delayed calling the doctor. Finally Dr Shishir Joshi, the consulting doctor under whom Chandak was admitted in Sahyadri, was called.
Jadia’s friend Sandip Kale, who was also present at the hospital, said: “When we were talking to the reception desk about the doctor, the hospital administration sent a security guard and started snatching the file away from my friend Jadia. Also, one of the nurses tried to tear the report paper, where malaria was shown as positive. When Dr Shirish Joshi reached, the doctor started scolding the intern and said that the hospital administration didn’t inform him about the malaria detection.
As he also consults at various other hospitals, it is not possible to read each and every report of all the patients.” Jadia said: “When we talked to Dipali Kunjir, operation head of Sahyadri Hospital in Bibwewadi, she said that she knew the case and had read the report 10 times and that the treatment given to Chandak was right. But when we asked her the name and room number of the patients, she couldn’t tell us this. Then how could she claim that the treatment given was right?”
Jadia also said that the hospital administration termed it a small misunderstanding among the staff. “But the small misunderstanding could have claimed my father-in-law’s life,” Jadia said. “Are they taking any responsibility?”
Jadia claimed that the hospital and the doctor were pointing fingers at each other. Kale informed the police about the case and also submitted a written application demanding action for the medical negligence.
“We have submitted an application that action should be taken against the hospital,” Kale said. “Also, the hospital claims that there are various doctors present in the hospital, but there were no doctors present. It means that the hospital doesn’t have adequate doctors. We can say there are no doctors to cater to the patients and the hospital is just doing a business and nothing else.”
Police Sub-Inspector Madhukar Kakade of the Bibwewadi police station said: “We have taken the statement of the doctor and the administration statement is pending as today is Sunday and no one is available from the hospital. After all the statements, the necessary action will be taken.” Diplai Kunjir, the operation head, said she was out of town and would be able to talk only after returning.
Dr D V Kadam, HoD, medicine, at Sassoon hospital said that there is no anti-viral drug available for dengue. For dengue patients, treatment is given according to the symptoms the patient exhibits, while for malaria there is anti-malaria treatment and it should be given. Kadam said if the treatment is started late in spite of reports being available, then it indicated miscommunication between various departments of the hospital.
Dr Vikas Pai, a senior family physician, said: “Not treating malaria soon after detection will definitely harm the patient. So after malaria diagnosis, a malaria patient must be treated accordingly, and as soon as possible. Malaria has its specific treatment. On the other hand, antibiotics and multivitamin are given to the dengue patient as dengue is treated as per the symptoms.”
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