Ernakulam medical college negligence: Kerala CM dismisses concerns raised by doctor

Pinarayi Vijayan said there are isolated attempts to portray the health sector in the state in a bad light and termed it as a 'serious' matter.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
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Dismissing the allegations raised against the Government Medical College at Kalamassery in Ernakulam, over the death of a COVID-19 patient, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the claims are ‘baseless’.

Pinarayi Vijayan said there are isolated attempts to portray the health sector in the state in a bad light and termed it as a 'serious' matter.

A doctor working at the hospital had backed a nursing officer's recent controversial claim that there was 'negligence' in connecting the ventilator leading to the death of a man at the government facility in July this year.

Speaking to reporters, Pinarayi said, "The issue cropped up after a misleading Facebook post. The officials from the hospital have said it is baseless. Some people who normally criticise the government are silent on the matter as they understand the technical aspect behind the oxygen mask."

This shows that the allegation is baseless and the entire society understands this, CM added.

In a WhatsApp audio clip, allegedly sent to her fellow staff members at the government medical college hospital, the nursing officer was purportedly heard saying that misplacement of the ventilator tubes led to the death of a Kochi native on July 20. The officer was suspended from service following this.

Supporting the officer's claim, a junior resident doctor of the hospital Dr Najma, had come out stating that a duty doctor had told her that the patient was not on ventilator support. She had even stated to media that she had seen previous instances of similar lapses and was revealing this despite fears that action might be taken and she would possibly be isolated.

The CM has denied all the allegations and said that the health sector was working tirelessly to fight the pandemic, but attempts were being made to defame it.

"The Kochi medical college is fighting the pandemic well. But there are some people who are engaged in spreading false information. Even though our doctors are functioning efficiently, certain isolated attempts can be seen, as part of a campaign to portray the health sector in a bad light and that's a serious matter," he said.

Watch video: CM's statement on allegations against hospital

Rejecting the allegations of negligence levelled by the doctor, the hospital authorities said the patient had died of a heart attack. They reiterated that the man, admitted to the hospital on June 26 with COVID-19 symptoms, had not recovered from the deadly virus till his demise.

“He was an acute diabetic, high BP patient and also overweight and suffering due to lack of proper breathing. Besides, he was also suffering from serious COVID pneumonia,” it said.

The patient was put on NIV ventilator support and not on mechanical ventilator support. Tubes cannot be misplaced while being put on NIV ventilator support, the hospital had stated.

Meanwhile, Dr Najma has filed a police complaint over fake news against her.

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