They Removed Ventilator, I'm Dying: COVID-19 Patient's Last Video

Ravi Kumar was admitted to a Hyderabad hospital on 24 June at 6 pm and died at around 1:40 am on 26 June.

Published29 Jun 2020, 02:21 PM IST
3 min read
“Even though I told them I can’t breathe, they removed the ventilator. It has been three hours. I feel like my heart has stopped beating, and only breath is left. Bye daddy, bye to everyone.”

These were some of the last words uttered by a 35-year-old son to his father before he succumbed to the coronavirus at the Government Chest Hospital in Hyderabad's Erragadda, yet again highlighting the alleged poor medical facilities for COVID-19 in the city's government hospitals.

The man, identified as Ravi Kumar, was admitted to the hospital on 24 June at 6 pm and died at around 1:40 am on 26 June.

'They Asked For Test Before They Could Admit Him'

In another video message, Ravi's father, Venkatesh, said, "He got fever on 23 June and I took him to a hospital. It was a high fever, so the hospital said that they wouldn't accept my son as he was showing symptoms of COVID-19. They asked for a test before they could admit him."

"From there, I went to Vijaya Diagnostics in Karkhana. The centre said that they have a limit of testing 150 people per day and they had reached their limit. They directed us to their Moosapet branch, where we filled a form, stood in line and got the test done," he added.

The test results confirmed the presence of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Venkatesh said that he visited several hospitals in Hyderabad, which refused to admit his son.

“I then went to Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) but they didn’t accept him. I visited around 10 to 11 hospitals even as my son was begging for me to get him some oxygen. None of them accepted or cared. Finally, they admitted him in Erragadda, but then they removed the oxygen and he died,” Venkatesh said.

"Did they remove oxygen because another patient needed it or because they thought his life was not worth it? Even before the COVID-19 report came, they pulled out the oxygen," he added.

Hospital Cites Cardiac Complications

Speaking to local media outlets, Chest Hospital Superintendent Mahaboob Khan said that there were cardiac complications which caused the death and it was not directly linked to the virus.

Dismissing allegations of medical negligence and saying that doctors and healthcare workers were constantly monitoring patients, Mahaboob Khan said that the patient would continue to have breathlessness if issues related to heart are involved and asserted that oxygen was given to him.

"His condition was dizzy when he was admitted. We gave him all the treatment.  But he passed away not due to an issue with his lungs but complications related to the heart," he said.

The family was sent into home quarantine but as of Sunday night, they said that they were yet to be tested for the coronavirus.

Other Victims of ‘Medical Negligence’

Meanwhile, a former Member of Parliament (MP) from Congress on Sunday alleged medical negligence in state-run hospitals and complained to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).

Ponnam Prabhakar, one of the working presidents of Congress in the state, said that he had made the complaint online to the commission on the incident.

The Congress leader also complained about an eight-month-old baby boy's death at another state-run hospital due to alleged failure in providing the necessary treatment. He sought an inquiry into the incidents.

Earlier in June, 33-year-old Manoj, a Telugu journalist, had died due to alleged medical negligence at Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital. After his death, Manoj's brother, Sainath, had put out a video detailing what exactly had happened.

Meanwhile, the tally of positive cases and deaths in Telangana rose to 14,419 and 247 respectively, following the detection of 983 infections and four deaths. A state government bulletin said that 5,172 people have been discharged so far, while 9,000 were under treatment.

Out of the 983 new cases, 816 were reported from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area.

(This article was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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