A 37-year-old woman died of meningitis and retro viral disease at Wenlock Hospital on Thursday. Her husband and other relatives alleged that the woman was not properly treated by doctors.

Vanita, from Talapady, had fever and her husband Dayanand, an autorickshaw driver, took her to a local doctor. She was referred to the Wenlock Hospital for further treatment. “On October 24 evening, she could walk into the hospital on her own,” Mr. Dayanand said.

Mr. Dayanand said his wife was brought to the female ward of the hospital. From there, she was moved in and out for several tests. “We were kept in the dark about the results of the tests,” he said. Mr. Dayanand said doctors did not attend to his wife. “Only nurses were coming and seeing my wife,” he said.

Dayanand's relative Shantram said a doctor attended to Vanita only on Thursday when her condition had turned critical. “We requested the doctor to shift her to the intensive care unit, but they refused stating that there were no (vacant) beds there,” Mr. Shantaram said. They were told that the doctors were not available for the last three days because of holidays.

Vanita died at 1.40 p.m. Mr. Shantaram claimed that the doctors told him she died of tuberculosis. “Now they are saying that the death was due to a viral infection,” he said.

Charges refuted

The Wenlock Hospital authorities refuted the allegations made by Vanita's husband and a relative. A Duty Medical Officer said Vanita was admitted to hospital with complaints of fever and weakness in the upper and lower limbs. Following tests, Vanita was found positive for meningitis and retroviral disease. The Elisa test (to confirm about the retroviral disease) could not be performed as the Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre had been closed since Tuesday, he said.

The doctor said the patient could not be treated at the ICU as there was shortage of beds. “We only have seven beds and all the seven were occupied,” he said. They have refused to admit patients in the ICU for this reason earlier too. “But in all such cases we have provided such patients with all facilities available at the ICU,” he said.

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