Early discharge 'kills' patient

A 40-year-old accident victim died in the premises of JPN Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS on Friday after being discharged from the hospital a day before.

The man, an autorickshaw driver, was not in a stable condition to be discharged, alleged his family members.

“We repeatedly requested the hospital authorities to extend his stay at the hospital as he was still in a critical condition. Yesterday around 5.30 pm, my brother-in-law was discharged with the authorities claiming he did not need hospitalisation anymore,” said Amit Gupta, the victim’s relative.

Pramod Gupta, a Badarpur resident, died around 6 am on Friday.

He had suffered severe head injuries in a railway accident on May 14.

He spent 13 days in the intensive care unit (ICU) and was then shifted to a general ward.

After the hospital authorities wanted to discharge him, Gupta’s family members met Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to extend his stay.

Extended stay

“The hospital extended his stay by another week. Yesterday, they did not listen to us even with us pleading repeatedly that he was not fit to go home. We were referred to Safdarjung Hospital from where we were turned away. Then we came back to the trauma centre, where my brother-in-law was accommodated in a tent in the parking lot,” said the relative.

The victim is survived by his wife, two minor daughters and a 15-year-old son. He was the sole earning member of the family. 

“We were hopeful that the hospital authorities will take him back if we hung around,” said Gupta.

AIIMS spokesperson Dr Amit Gupta said a committee has been constituted to conduct an inquiry into the case. The body has been sent for post-mortem, he added.

AIIMS version

“There has been no case of medical negligence. We had recommended that the patient go home, as he needed home rehabilitation. He had severe head injuries. Both the orthopaedic and neurosurgery angles were taken care of. There is nothing else that doctors could have done here. So there was no point prolonging his stay here,” said Dr Gupta.

Usually patient with head injuries are released after a certain period. Doctors prescribe “home rehab”, where patients gradually recuperate at home.

“The family members were fully briefed on how to take care of the patient at home. They should have taken him home instead of lingering in the waiting area. We are waiting for the post-mortem report to find out the exact cause of death. He was also diabetic,” said Dr Gupta.

The family protested against the accident victim’s death outside the hospital premises on Friday.

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