Mix-up of COVID patients

The Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. File  


The body of an 85-year-old COVID-19 patient from Kollam lay unidentified for five days in the mortuary of the Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram. The incident has sparked allegations of negligence on the part of health officials.

Believing that his father was admitted at the Government Medical College Hospital at Paripally, Kollam, the patient’s son had continued to take food and clothes there for several days. The hospital authorities had accepted them without question.

In reality, the son, a headload worker in Kollam, had been taking food and clothes not to his father but to another COVID-19 patient with the same name. But it became evident only last week when hospital authorities informed him that his father, who had tested negative, was transferred to the room and he went there to meet him.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday that an investigation would be carried out into the incident.

The patient, who hails from Kunnikode in Kollam district, was taken to the Taluk Hospital, Punalur, on August 26 after he complained of uneasiness. He had contracted COVID-19 after 15 days at the hospital.

“'When I enquired at the hospital, they said he had been shifted to the Paripally MCH. There, I was told that he was at the COVID treatment centre at the SN College. I met him there,”' the son said. According to him, they had then shifted his father to the District Hospital, Kollam, but he was not informed. When he contacted the District Hospital, he was told that the patient was transferred to the Paripally MCH on September 25. On enquiring there, the hospital confirmed that his father was indeed admitted at the hospital, but visitors were barred.

On October 15, he was informed that his father had tested negative and shifted to the room. When he went to meet his father, it became evident that a mix-up had occurred. Finally, after several rounds of enquiries, he confirmed on October 16 that his father was admitted at the Government MCH, Thiruvananthapuram.

Passed away

Enquiries in Thiruvananthapuram confirmed that his father had passed away on October 13. While the hospital had taken down a wrong address for the patient, they had the correct mobile phone numbers of the deceased’s son and his wife, claims the son. The body of the deceased was finally released on October 18. The burial was held at the Jamaat at Kunnikode. The son said he has no plans to lodge complaints.

“'I consider it lucky that my father could be buried in Kunnikode. If the other patient had not tested negative and got shifted to the ward, I would still be taking clothes and food to the Paripally hospital thinking my father was there,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 1:35:28 AM |

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