Shocking: Denied admission, pregnant woman dies of dengue

The deceased patient’s family blames the PMC-run Kamla Nehru Hospital for her death; claims precious hours were wasted that could have been used for treatment instead

In shocking proof of apathy shown towards patients at government-run hospitals, a pregnant woman with dengue was denied admission at the Kamla Nehru Hospital run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Ashwini Mahesh Davkar
Ashwini Mahesh Davkar

The patient and her family endured a day-long ordeal, as they were asked to leave and then return to the hospital, only to be asked to leave again at the end of the day. Three days later, the patient died at Ruby Hall Clinic, for which the family blames Kamla Nehru Hospital and its indifferent staff.

dengue relative
Ashwini Mahesh Davkar brother, Sudhir Mohite (second from left) and other family members blamed the hospital for her death

Denied admission
Ashwini Mahesh Davkar (34) was pregnant and had a high fever when her brother, Sudhir Mohite took her to the PMC-run hospital in Mangalwar Peth on around 8 am on Friday. However, she was denied admission at the hospital and was asked to go to Sassoon Hospital instead.

“I asked doctors at Kamla Nehru Hospital to give me a reference letter to the recommended doctor at Sassoon, but it was denied. So I contacted our ward corporator Aba Bagul, who helped me shift my sister to Ruby Hall,” said Mohite.

He added, “When we reached Ruby Hall Clinic and the treatment was about to start, we got a call from Kamla Nehru asking us to return. After spending the entire day shifting from one hospital to another, we were then asked to get a blood test done, but were not even told where the lab was.”

‘Shocked’ family
They found the laboratory opposite the hospital and had the test conducted. “The concerned persons at the lab took extra money from us to give the reports in one hour instead of three hours. The test confirmed Ashwini had dengue. However, we were shocked when we were again asked to shift her to Ruby Hall for further treatment,” Mohite stated.

Ashwini was shifted to Ruby Hall Clinic at night, and was treated there for the next two days. “On Monday morning, Ashwini’s labour pains began and the doctors operated on her despite her low blood platelet rate,” Mohite recalled.

She delivered a baby boy, and was normal until Monday afternoon. After a few hours, though, she passed away in
the evening.

‘Precious time wasted’
Mohite and other family members said had the PMC hospital not denied them admission, or wasted their time by making them go to-and-fro between hospitals, the precious hours on Friday could have been used for treatment, and Ashwini might still have been alive.

Ashwini is survived by her husband, Mahesh, and an eight-year-old daughter and her newborn son, who is currently under medical supervision at the intensive care unit at Ruby Hall Clinic.

Aba Bagul, the corporator who helped the family shift Ashwini to Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “Kamla Nehru Hospital did not give Ashwini’s case papers to her family. Ruby Hall Clinic has given them a photocopy of the case papers. I am personally looking into this matter and will help her family get the original case papers as well as justice.”

The Hospital’s scapegoat

The PMC-run hospital also terminated Maya Zombade, a security guard who allegedly encouraged the Davkar family to get admission in the hospital. “They had asked me whether the hospital has facilities to treat pregnant woman. I confirmed it did, and now the management is blaming me for the entire situation. If I want my job back, I have to give a written apology, they told me,” Zombade claimed.

The other side
Refusing to acknowledge that the Kamla Nehru Hospital administration and doctors had displayed apathy, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Pune Municipal Corporation, Dr S T Pardeshi said, “We asked Mohite to shift her to Sassoon because the baby’s condition was critical. But Mohite himself refused to shift there and later they contacted corporator Aaba Bagul and decided to shift Ashwini to Ruby Hall.” Despite repeated attempts, Ruby Hall Clinic could not be reached for comments.

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