Bengaluru: No ventilator, woman dies 6 days after having a baby | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: A 26-year-old woman, who gave birth to her first child only last week, started feeling breathless hours after being discharged and died early on Friday as she could not find a hospital with a vacant ventilator bed. A rapid antigen test conducted in her final hours revealed she had Covid-19.

In the past few weeks, a number of patients, including corona warriors such as pourakarmikas, have died after a struggle to get medical attention or a hospital bed with ventilator support. In the latest case, the woman’s family and friends and even a senior doctor made dozens of calls to private hospitals to enquire about ventilator-bed availability after her health worsened suddenly, but to no avail.
The woman, a homemaker, had delivered a healthy baby boy at a hospital in Rajajinagar on July 25. She remained in the hospital because of postpartum pain and was discharged on Thursday. Shortly after she reached her parents’ home in RR Nagar, she started feeling breathless. Her husband, who runs a spectacles shop, took her to the Rajajinagar hospital again. Breathlessness is among the symptoms associated with the coronavirus infection.
“Hospital officials said they had tested her for Covid-19 when she was admitted for delivery and the report was negative,” said Rajashekar, a family friend, who accompanied the couple. “They didn’t check her oxygen saturation level and rudely told us that there were no vacant beds and that she should be taken to another hospital.”
The woman was rushed to a private hospital in Nagarbhavi. “We got there around 5.15pm. Doctors conducted a rapid antigen test, which was Covid positive,” the husband said. Doctors found that the woman’s heartbeat was getting weaker rapidly and she needed urgent ventilator support. “But the hospital didn’t have a ventilator bed. They gave her oxygen support and shifted her to the intensive care unit around 10.30pm,” he said.
Doctors intubated her as the family began frantically searching for a hospital with a spare ventilator bed. The husband claimed about 200 people, including well-wishers, made enquiries. “BBMP and health officials, marshals, the local MLA and councillor, and my friends looked for a hospital in the city, but not a single facility had a spare ventilator,” he said. Dr Banu Prakash AS, a neurosurgeon working at the Nagarbhavi hospital, said he made over 100 calls to BBMP and medical practitioners across the city.
The woman breathed her last around 5.30am on Friday. “I just can’t believe it; we just had a baby. We had fought with our families to get married. How will I cope without her?” the husband said, breaking down.
Officials have repeatedly said that the bed allotment system in Bengaluru has been streamlined. But the distressing search many still go through suggests that there’s a serious lack of coordination. “Government officials are busy forming task forces and making policies, but they are not creating the required facilities,” the husband said. Dr Banu Prakash also criticised the system. “The BBMP portal, which shows availability of beds, is a joke. There are hardly any beds or facilities when patients need them the most,” he said.
He alleged private hospitals were not faithfully doing their part in the pandemic. “They are admitting Covid-19 patients only in their bed quota, and not under the 50 per cent share promised to BBMP. They say the latter facility is not ready because of manpower and equipment shortages,” he said. “They show discarded beds in godowns or unwanted enclosures.”
Dr Banu Prakash urged the government to put in place a proper mechanism to provide beds and ventilators to patients.


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Sagar Biswas

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