Mumbai: 'COVID suspected' note sends injured child on runaround of hospitals
After three-year-old boy is knocked down by car, at least three hospitals in the city deny treatment based on lung patches seen on CT scan; after parents manage admission at Nanavati, actual COVID test comes out negative
The ordeal of parents whose three-year-old son was run over by a four-wheeler has brought to the fore the apathy of some of the city's medical institutions. The Malad family knocked on the doors of three hospitals, but all of them allegedly refused to treat the child with a fractured rib, only because his CT scan report mentioned 'COVID-19 suspected'. He was finally given treatment at a private hospital in Vile Parle, and discharged on Monday evening.
The incident took place in Malvani, Malad, on Friday evening when Ammar Manihar was playing on the road outside his house. The car ran over him as he bent down to pick something up. The driver, on realising that he had hit the child, stopped and offered the family to help take him to the hospital.
Ammar Manihar, 3, was playing outside his house when he was run over by a motorist on Friday evening
Ammar's parents and grandfather Mehboob Manihar first rushed the boy to Care Hospital nearby, where the doctor sent him for a CT scan.
"We got the test done at Nirman Diagnostics in Malad and the report showed fracture in the rib and 'multiple ground glass foci in the bilateral lung parenchyma, [which meant that] possibility of COVID-19 infection cannot be ruled out'," Mehboob told mid-day.
Screengrabs of the incident from a nearby CCTV camera footage
The boy has sustained injuries on his face and hand, besides the fractured rib. After receiving the report, Ammar's family took him to three different hospitals, but they all allegedly refused to admit him.
"We spent five to six hours, going from one hospital to another between Andheri and Kandivli, but all three of them refused to admit him because of the COVID-19 suspect remark. We took Ammar to Nanavati hospital, which finally admitted him," Mehboob added.
Nanavati conducted CT scan, COVID-19 and other tests and the boy's report came back negative for the novel Coronavirus.
Driver helps with treatment
The family has not filed a complaint against the man who was driving the car, who is helping with the expenses of Ammar's treatment. But the Malvani police, on being informed of the accident by the hospital, have registered a case under the charges of negligence and rash driving against the man, said an officer.
When mid-day called Nirman Diagnostics CEO Dr H K Thakrar to ask about the report stating 'COVID-19 suspect', he refused to speak.
'Didn't refuse to admit'
Dr Sabahuddin from Care Hospital, Malvani, said, "We did not refuse to admit the boy, instead his parents wanted to take him to some big hospital considering the seriousness of the accident." When mid-day contacted Criti Care Hospital, Andheri, an employee said the people in the position to comment on the matter were not present in the hospital.
'No vacant bed'
Dr Nitin Pawar of Oscar Hospital, Kandivli West, said, "Ours is a dedicated COVID hospital, but not a single bed was available in the hospital when the parents called."
Meanwhile, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, P/North Ward, Sanjog Kabre said, "BMC has issued no specific guidelines to the private hospitals on such matters. Jumbo COVID-19 facilities have been told to admit all patients and test them for the virus. If the report comes back positive, the patient is shifted to a government hospital."
"Moreover, hospitals and some laboratories have been given the facility of antigen test to test any suspected COVID-19 patients. In case, they don't have the testing facility, they could advise the family to get the patient tested," he added.
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