Infant dies in ambulance as driver, pharmacist spend over 1 hour for lunch

Image for representational purpose only.

Image for representational purpose only.  

A one-year-old infant died inside an ambulance when accompanying pharmacist and ambulance driver allegedly spent more than one hour for taking lunch at a roadside eatery in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district on Monday.

Niranjan Behera and his wife Gita from Ambajoda village under the Betanati police station had admitted their one-year-son, who was suffering from diarrhoea, to the Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Hospital at Baripada.

When its condition worsened, doctors referred the infant to the SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack. The ambulance had barely travelled three to four kilometres when the pharmacist and the driver got down and went for lunch in a roadside hotel.

Worried over inordinate delay, the father pleaded with them to return to ambulance and rush them to Cuttack. The two reportedly turned a deaf ear to requests. They delayed again by 30 minutes.

“The two hospital staff left for a roadside dhaba saying they would return quickly after having lunch. After an hour, the boy’s father went to the dhaba to inquire about the delay and requested the driver and the pharmacist to return. He was, however, turned away. They came after about 90 minutes,” alleged Paramanand Behera, maternal uncle of the deceased child.

After a 15-km journey, the infant became motionless. The pharmacist and the ambulance driver took them to the Community Health Centre, Krushnachandrapur, where doctors declared the child dead.

Escape after attack

Enraged over the fatal negligence, the father and the uncle of the deceased child had reportedly attacked the pharmacist and the driver. Subsequently, when others too joined in holding the two ambulance staff accountable for death, they fled the spot. The parents of the child had filed a written complaint at the Krushnachandrapur police outpost.

The 108 ambulance service authorities also filed a counter-complaint at the police outpost stating that the two staff came under attack for their no fault. “They spent around 20 minutes for lunch,” said Sayan Bose, Mayurbhanj district coordinator for 108 Ambulance Service.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 9:35:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/infant-dies-in-ambulance/article32320542.ece

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