GHAZIABAD: A 48-year-old woman suffering from acute respiratory problems died during treatment at Meerut medical college on Sunday evening after allegedly doing the rounds of nine hospitals in Noida, Ghaziabad and Delhi for two days but failing to get admission anywhere.
This is the third instance of a patient in need of emergency treatment not being able to secure admission by hospitals in NCR over the past few days. A woman in the eighth month of her pregnancy and a newborn girl had died in Noida after hospitals refused admission citing lack of beds or Covid-19 protocols.
On Saturday morning, Mamta Devi, a resident of Pratap Vihar Colony in Khoda, developed respiratory problems after fluids accumulated in her lungs. Her son Arjun Singh Taragi and some relatives first took her to a leading hospital in Delhi in an ambulance. Told there were no beds there, Arjun spent the whole of Saturday trying to get his mother admitted to another hospital, but could not. “At the (leading) hospital, we were told there were no beds available,” said Arjun, who worked with a private firm but has been out of a job for some time.
Everywhere, we were told there were no beds’
We then went to three more hospitals in Delhi. But everywhere we went, we were told there were no beds,” said Arjun, Mamta Devi’s son. The family then took Mamta to Metro and Kailash hospitals in Noida. But at both places, Arjun claimed he was asked if a Covid test had been done on his mother, without which she would not be admitted.
“From there, we went to MMG District Hospital in Ghaziabad. She was given a few injections and then discharged as her breathing problems had subsided to an extent. During the time she was at MMG hospital, I had enquired with a few nursing homes in Vaishali and Kaushambi. But they told me they could not admit an emergency patient as they lacked equipment,” Arjun said. Mamta was brought home that night.
Her husband works with a private company in Bengaluru and hasn’t been able to come home because of the lockdown.
The next morning, Mamta again started having breathing problems. Arjun said he kept trying for a government ambulance on 112 but couldn’t get through. A local politician helped him get a private ambulance and Mamta was taken to Delhi again, another government hospital.
It agreed to admit Mamta initially, Arjun said. But the family was allegedly told to take her to another hospital after an initial examination. Mamta was rushed to a private facility in Karkardooma, but they, too, said no bed, Arjun said.
Six hours had passed shuttling between hospitals. Around 4pm, Mamta’s family brought her to MMG hospital again. But by then, her condition had deteriorated considerably. Doctors gave her medicines and referred her to Meerut. Mamta died during treatment around 10pm on Sunday. Doctors said fluids had accumulated in her lungs.
Dr Anurag Bhargava, chief medical superintendent at MMG hospital, said Mamta was in a critical condition by the time she was brought there. “Her SpO2 level (oxygen saturation) was very low, only 36%. Doctors tried to give her oxygen, but that did not work. She was subsequently referred to Meerut. But before that, her Covid samples were taken for testing,” he added.
A spokesperson for Metro Hospital said, “I made an inquiry. No patient by this name came on Saturday at the emergency. No billing was done and no such person entered the hospital. We checked CCTV footage too.” Kailash Hospital could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
The Noida administration recently described as “a growing concern” the trend of hospitals turning away patients in need of emergency care and asked them not to do so.