|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
'Goa hospital did not treat SARS victim properly'
Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji | April 18, 2003 12:08 IST
A Goa doctor has alleged that the Goa Medical College hospital neglected to treat India's first SARS patient adequately.
According to Dr Pradip Pai Dhungat, the young marine engineer's family doctor, Prashil Varde had other symptoms of SARS apart from high fever due to which he was immediately referred to the GMC for treatment in isolation.
But the GMC authorities did not bother to monitor his admission, Dr Dhunghat alleged. Varde was sent searching for the isolation ward and then discharged after three days while his report was awaited from the national laboratory in Pune.
Contrary to the official contention that Varde only once had 100 degree F fever, Dr Dhungat said his fever fluctuated between 99 and 102 with mild chill for four days. He was not responding to antibiotics.
The victim had a mild sore throat and severe backache. A blood test revealed low lymphocyte count; an X-ray showed a doubtful shadow of pneumotharax.
Being familiar with Varde's past respiratory infections, Dr Dhungat wondered how the GMC authorities could discharge him in three days in spite of his sending the patient with a detailed report and an elaborate questionnaire on isolation, viral studies and community measures.
"The whole purpose of the isolation ward was defeated the way the GMC handled the case in a most negligent manner," Dr Dhungat said
The victim was neither personally taken to the isolation ward, but was told to locate the ward himself and get himself admitted. Varde even visited the canteen after waiting in the isolation ward for four hours for GMC doctors to check him.
While Varde was being discharged, Dr Dhunghat said he was not instructed to use a mask or asked not to mix with people. In fact, he discovered he was SARS positive when he was attending a birthday party with his wife.
Dr Dhungat believes Varde is now out of danger -- his family is not infected with the SARS virus either -- he cannot understand how the GMC authorities could be so careless and casual.
More reports from Goa