Doc transferred, 4 nurses dismissed for exchange of 2 bodies at Thane hospital

Updated: Jul 10, 2020, 09:47 IST | Anurag Kamble, Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Following this paper's front-page report about identities of patients getting mixed up, administration cracks down on errant medicos

The Thane COVID Hospital
The Thane COVID Hospital

The committee formed by the Thane Municipal Corporation to find out how the identities of two senior COVID-19 patients got exchanged at the civic-run COVID hospital in Thane has concluded that the hospital in-charge, a doctor and four nurses were negligent. Late on Thursday, as per orders by Additional Municipal Commissioner Ganesh Deshmukh, the nurses were dismissed and the doctors were transferred.

The three-member committee, headed by a special officer deputed at the Thane Municipal Corporation for COVID-19, Ranjeet Kumar, found that Bhalchandra Gaikwad was brought in to the Thane COVID-19 hospital on June 29 at 10.05 pm.

"Gaikwad was shifted to ward 4B at 11.24 pm, which is recorded in the CCTV cameras. He was again shifted to the ward 3B on June 30, around 2.03 am. He was then shifted to the ICU in the basement of the hospital at 1.28 pm on the same day. But, apart from the admission card of the patient, the committee couldn't find any other document in his name. When Gaikwad was shifted to the ICU, no entry was made. But, the committee found that his treatment line and death notes were written in Janardhan Sonawane's file. On the other hand, Sonawane's own details were not recorded anywhere," said Sandeep Malvi, spokesperson, TMC.

"When Gaikwad succumbed to the infection on July 3 at 4.45 am, the death certificate was issued in the name of Sonawane, whose relatives were informed about the death," Malvi added.

 a condolence message put out for Janardhan Sonawane while he was still alive.
A condolence message put out for Janardhan Sonawane while he was still alive.

Gaikwad's relatives had been searching for him since July 4 in at the hospital. "The nurses did not pay attention to the files. They know the patients and seeing a death note in Sonawane's name should have alerted them as he was alive at that time. Things would have become clear then itself," Malvi added.

It was also found that the nursing staff did not maintain registers and other documents properly. The shifting of Gaikwad between wards was not mentioned. "Also, the doctors did not supervise the work of nurses Pooja Sawant, Jira Dhanka, Raveena and Kamini Bhoir. The committee found negligence by Dr. Yogesh Sharma in supervising the staff," Malvi said.

Janardhan Sonawane’s family at Thane. PIC/SAMEER MARKANDEJanardhan Sonawane's family at Thane. Pic/ Sameer Markande

The committee had recommended seven days' training and transfers for the bunch. But late on Thursday, additional commissioner Ganesh Deshmukh, issued the dismissal order for the nurses. Dr. Sharma and Dr Borgave have been transferred, while Dr. Aniruddha Malgaonkar has been named the former's replacement.

Other recommendations

A record of patients has to be kept, an ample number of registers and forms should be kept for this.

Relatives of patients getting oxygen or under treatment in the ICU should get health updates every day. The intensivist and hospital in-charge should supervise the wards.

Patients should get wrist tags at the time of admission. This tag should be worn until discharge. Name and age of every patient must be displayed at the bed.

The plastic bag used to pack dead bodies should have a transparent patch where the body's face is.

A picture of the patient at the time of admission must be taken and attached to the file.

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