HYDERABAD: In a new twist to road accident victim L Prakash's death saga that sparked off a protest outside Gandhi hospital, his medical records proved that doctors at Osmania General Hospital had indeed cited unavailability of ventilator support.
That OGH's neuro-surgery ward did not have ventilator support on September 18 when Prakash was made to shuttle between Gandhi hospital and OGH without treatment for four hours. It was clearly established by the case report written by doctors treating at both the hospitals.
It may be recalled that OGH superintendent Dr GVS Murthy said on Monday that the hospital had 90 ventilators.
The case report signed by a doctor from OGH at 10.10 pm on Sunday reads: "patient not willing for admission due to non availability of beds and ventilator support".
"The records establish that there was clear hospital negligence in denying ventilator support to my brother Prakash by OGH authorities in spite of the fact that they had plenty of ventilators at their disposal as was claimed by the hospital officials," said L Balakishan, a cousin of the deceased.
In fact, non-availability of ventilator support cited by OGH doctors is also corroborated in the case report prepared by their counterparts in Gandhi hospital when Prakash was finally brought back to the hospital in a comatose state at 10.40 pm.
Writing the case report (a copy is with ToI), the duty doctors at Gandhi hospital says: "Case was brought from OGH due to non-availability of ventilator support. Patient was brought to Gandhi hospital at 10.40 pm. Pulse and heart not reachable".
These medical records point towards gross medical negligence, said Mujtaba Hasan Askari, president of NGO Helpling Hand Foundation. "Instead of saving his life, the OGH staff scared Prakash's attenders saying that ventilator and beds were not available and sent him back to Gandhi hospital, but he died en route," added Askari.
Incidentally, social activist and AAP Telangana State co-convener Prof PLVishweshwar Rao too faulted Gandhi hospital authorities for not informing trauma patients in advance that their CT scan machine was down for four day, and also not conducting Prakash's autopsy.
"If their CT scan machine was not functional, they should have either put out newspaper advertisements or mentioned it on their notice boards so that patients would have avoided coming to the hospital. The authorities are also guilty for not providing Prakash the 'first line of treatment' when he was brought at 6.30 pm ," he said, while demanding strict action against those responsible for the lapses.
However, Gandhi hospital superintendent Dr J Venkateshwar Reddy told the protesting family members that they did not start the basic treatment on Prakash as he was 'hemodynamically stable' with the blood pressure normal at 110/70 and 76 pulse rate.
"We could not conduct his post-mortem too as there was a huge mob outside the hospital," he said, adding that they had initiated an inquiry to identify the lapses.