A 52-year-old woman dies after seeking treatment at four different hospitals in a dayTwo hospitals in Biratnagar refused to treat the patient who was suffering from high fever on suspicions of being a Covid-19 case, victim’s daughter says.
Deo Narayan Sah
A 52-year-old woman died on Tuesday at the Biratnagar-based Nobel Hospital after visiting four other health facilities for treatment the same day.
Naradevi Gurung, a resident of Mahalaxmi Municipality Ward No. 5 in Dhankuta, who died of a brain haemorrhage, was taken to a local health post and three other hospitals before she was finally admitted to Nobel Hospital, said Laxmi Gurung, her daughter.
Naradevi was taken to the local health post after she had high blood pressure on Tuesday morning, said Laxmi. “But since her treatment did not seem possible at the health post, we brought her to the Dharan-based BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS)."
According to Laxmi, BPKIHS doctors said the patient needed intensive care but no bed was free in its Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The hospital then referred Naradevi to the Biratnagar-based Neuro Hospital.
Naradevi was ambulanced to Neuro Hospital and admitted there. But the Biratnagar facility too said it had no ICU space available. “They checked her temperature and then referred her to Birat Nursing Home," said Laxmi.
At Birat Nursing Home, the staff prepared for Naradevi’s treatment but once they checked her temperature, they referred her to Nobel Hospital, according to Laxmi.
Nobel Hospital started the treatment but declared her dead soon after, said Laxmi. "The doctors at Nobel Hospital said it was already too late to save my mother,” she said.
“We performed a CT scan of her head after she was admitted,” said Narayan Dahal, who works at the Nobel Hospital administration. "It showed excessive bleeding and blood clot."
According to Dahal, the patient had suffered a brain haemorrhage on Tuesday morning, and crucial time was wasted when she was taken from one hospital to another.
Laxmi alleges that Neuro Hospital and Birat Nursing Home refused to treat her mother because they feared she had contracted the novel coronavirus after checking her body temperature.
"Both hospitals referred her to other hospitals after her body temperature read 102 degrees Fahrenheit. These hospitals which refuse to treat patients on suspicions of novel coronavirus should be punished," said Laxmi.
Rajesh Bhattarai, the director of Neuro Hospital, claimed that doctors at his hospital referred the patient to another hospital because, at the time of Laxmi’s inquiry, the ICU was booked. However, Padam Binadi, the head of administration at Birat Nursing Home, said the doctors might have referred her to another hospital because she had high fever, which is one of the symptoms of Covid-19.
"We do not have the personal protective equipment necessary to treat Covid-19 patients and suspects. It’s risky for the health workers too," said Binadi.