Shabhas Ali's family kept him alive through the night by manually pumping his resuscitator for seven hours
Shabhas Ali's family kept him alive through the night by manually pumping his resuscitator for seven hours

Even after 72 hours under observation, Shahbas Ali is still critical in the pediatric intensive care unit in Sion hospital. Doctors have advised to keep him under observation for another 48 hours. He was refused admission in seven hospitals on Wednesday night after his accident, which delayed his treatment. His family is praying that his life is saved.

Also read: Toddler's life hangs in balance after being turned away by 7 Mumbai hospitals

On Wednesday evening, while he was playing, a wooden road side stall fell on the one and half-year-old child and he fell unconscious. It led to internal bleeding in his chest. The family kept running from one hospital to another for nine hours until Sion hospital admitted him on the second attempt.

“The child is still very critical. The next 48 hours will decide on the line of treatment. Till then, we can’t comment anything,” said a doctor from Sion hospital.

No vacancy
Five major hospitals like Sion, Nair and KEM, JJ and Wadia Hospital didn’t have a vacancy in the PICU to admit the patient from Virar. Later, Seven Hills and Holy Spirit refused to admit him without a deposit from Rs 50,000 to 60,000. The child was kept on the support of a manual resuscitator that the family kept pumping with their hands for seven hours.

“My child needed immediate medical attention but hospitals kept refusing. What’s the point in having such big government hospitals if they don’t have a vacancy in the PICU for emergency cases?” said Shaitu Ali, Shahbas’ father.

Need for system
Health rights activists raise the need to develop a centralised system to assist patients in case of such emergencies. BMC last year had planned to develop a software that would help by giving information about vacancies in emergency services.

“If a hospital doesn’t have a PICU or ICU, they refer patients to another hospital without knowing if they have a vacancy. A simple call to the emergency number can assist the emergency patient, but doctors don’t even bother to do so. So there is a need to develop a centralised system to know where beds are available. This problem can be solved by developing centralised software, but neither the BMC nor the government is bothered,” said Dr Ravikant Singh, a health activist.