KS Khaled Bambrana, a businessman breathed his last in Mumbai on Friday night after five prominent hospitals in the city refused to admit him, and he was denied treatment for two hours straight, claim his family members.
Aged 54, Bambrana had a slight fever earlier this week and consulted a local doctor. He was prescribed medicine but his condition deteriorated on Friday when he started facing trouble breathing. Khaled’s son rushed him to Prince Aly Khan hospital in Mazgaon which is a stone’s throw away from the family residence.
“I took him to the hospital’s Emergency ward between 7:30-8:00 pm. The doctor examined him but refused to grant admission, claiming that the hospital was not equipped to deal with such patients. He had not tested positive for Covid-19 but was still denied admission. We were asked to go to another nearby hospital. But even that hospital refused to take him in,” Khalid’s son told India Today.
Chief operating officer of the hospital, Dr Anuj Tewari said, “The Prince Aly Khan hospital is not a designated hospital for Covid-19 patients. Legally, we cannot admit patients with such symptoms. Moreover, our ICU is already full. We cannot take in more patients who need immediate attention, maybe that is why the patient was asked to go to another hospital.”
Bambrana’s family then rushed him to at least four other hospitals in the city. While one hospital decided to take him in and transferred him to a facility in Andheri meant for Covid-19 patients using an ambulance, the family refused on the grounds that he had not tested positive for Covid-19. The family decided to go to another hospital in the vicinity.
In the meantime, Abdul Rehman, president of the Bombay Kerala Muslim Jamaath called up the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) helpline asking if they could help the family find a hospital where life support could be provided. The BMC helpline promised to call back with details.
St George hospital
In the meantime, the Bambranas reached another hospital where they were told that there were no ventilators. They rushed to another and were told that there were ventilators but they were reserved only for Covid-19 patients. For the lack of any other option, the family rushed him to St George hospital where he was finally admitted.
As the family reached St George, the BMC helpline called back after 45 minutes to say that a bed at Lilavati hospital was free. However, by that time, Bambrana’s health had deteriorated even further. Abdul Rehman says, “By the time I reached St George, the doctors were trying to revive him as his heart had stopped. When they managed to revive him, they asked us to get an oxygen cylinder. Where can we get an oxygen cylinder? They put him on a ventilator, but he passed away later in the night.”
“If at this stage, Mumbai is not able to provide life support equipment and beds or admission to one patient who needs a ventilator, how will we cope with the situation if god forbid, there is an escalation of the spread in this virus,” Abdul Rehman says.