On September 8, a mob entered the emergency ward of King Edward Memorial Hospital and began abusing the resident doctor after they were informed that their relative had died. The incident came to limelight after a video of the relatives shouting and abusing the resident doctor who was on duty went viral on social media on September 11. Taking this act into consideration, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has demanded strict action against the relatives. Meanwhile, the hospital administration has filed an FIR against the relatives at Bhoiwada police station.
The incident occurred on September 8, when a patient named Jatin Pawar, 18, was admitted to the emergency ward under the MVS unit of the hospital after he was suspected to be suffering from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARI).
According to the doctors, the patient had a history of fever and breathlessness for the last three days, following which he was admitted to a private hospital and later shifted to KEM Hospital in view of the three episodes of generalised tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS). “When the patient was admitted on September 7, we examined his health parameters, which showed that the saturation was 80 per cent on 15 litres O2 and his blood pressure was at 120/80 mm of hg with altered sensorium. Following this, the patient was intubated and put on a ventilator. Post intubation, the BP crashed, was started on support and was sedated,” said a senior doctor.
He further said that the patient tested negative for COVID-19, but his health condition did not improve and the patient was found with no recordable peripheral pulses in spite of being on support.
On September 8, the relatives were explained about the patient's health condition at 11.30pm by the senior medical officer (SMO). Later, the patient was found with no recordable carotid pulses despite being administered with injection atropine and adrenaline. Moreover, CPR was initiated, but the ECG remained flat. “We informed the patient’s brother and maternal uncle that Pawar had died in detail. They agreed and said at least we tried to save him. But when I went out for some work, the other relatives of the patient created chaos and started arguing and abusing the resident doctor who was on duty,” said the doctor.
In the video that went viral on September 11, the crowd was seen saying that the patient is not dead, his body is warm and that they can see his heartbeat. The casualty officer explained that it was not true. “After connecting the ventilator, they mistook the ventilator waveforms as the heart beat and the movements of the chest due to forceful ventilation by the ventilator as spontaneous breaths. I tried to explain, but they would not listen. They kept on abusing,” said the doctor.
Dr Deepak Mundhe, president, KEM MARD, said this video has been circulated widely on social media with a misleading story that the patient was alive and the doctor knowingly declared him dead with malintentions to trade his organs. “Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we are working non-stop and most of the HCWs have tested positive. Plus, we have to undergo such assault from the relatives. We demand that strict action should be taken against the relatives,” he said.
Several ECGs were taken when the patient was still on a ventilator and they were all flat lines, but they did not understand and argued. Later, the senior doctor explained the complete procedure they had done to save the patient. Moreover, they were counselled for post-mortem, for which they agreed and decided to donate organs.