COVID-19: Documents reveal JVC admin, SKIMS doctors’ negligence led to patient’s death

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Srinagar: A day after Kashmir reported its first COVID-19 death case, documents reveal how protocol required for treating such patients has not been followed in Jehlum Valley Medical (JVC) College as well as Sher-i-Kashmir Insititute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Soura, leading to the death of the patient.

On 21 March, the deceased 65-year-old Muhammad Ashraf Anim visits JVC at 8:35 am and according to the patient registration card issued by JVC he discloses travel history to Delhi for ten days. 

The patients report card at the JVC, found by a news agency, reveals that a junior resident doctor checks him initially, and further calls his senior resident doctor. Finally, consultant checks him up, the patient report card of JVC reveals.

“Case discussed with consultant chest disease. High suspicion of COVID-19. Needs immediate testing in view of worsening saturation. Refer to SKIMS for further treatment (sic),” writes consultant on the patient report card.

The doctors at JVC added that he was asked to take ambulance for SKIMS but the attendant who is also a doctor preferred to go by their personal vehicle.

JVC administration negligence: They let him go by personal car and did not track him. The Standard Opreation Prodecure for such patients is it coordinator cum liaisoning officer nominated by the hospital should have been informed immediately who would have alerted administration and police, a top health official revealed.

“This was a major breach on part of MS JVC. The official should not have let the patient go in any case. The official should be taken to task,” he said.
On the same day, 21 March, at around 11: 59 am he reaches SKIMS Soura and visits COVID Clinic (Emergency) with Suspected COVID written on the initial diagnosis a column of the patient report card.

As per the patient report card, here he reveals whole travel history from Andaman Nicobar to Srinagar.

He had also revealed that he was screened at the Srinagar International Airport. This put a big question on the screening facilities set up by Government at the Srinagar airport for COVID-19 suspected patients.

“No contact with any COVID-19 positive patient. Other co-workers who were travelling with him were having fever and cough; now relieved and doing fine. They were from UP (sic),” reveals the SKIMS report card of the patient.
The report card also reveals that the patient was advised home quarantine, maintaining hygiene, avoid social gatherings.

Also Read: Quarantine in Kashmir: From airport hustle to a hotel room

“They want to talk to consultant Dr Ajaz Koul for further management and advice,” report card reads.

Reportedly, the consultant has seconded the advice of his junior doctor and allowed him to go home.

“Consultant told them that he is not COVID-19 patient or if they still insist he can be admitted in general medicine ward or he can go for home quarantine,” a senior doctor said.

SKIMS mishandling: SKIMS consultant allowed him to go home despite grave symptoms of COVID-19. He should have followed protocol and admitted him in an isolation ward and alerted the administration also, a senior officer in the administration said.

“We are looking into all lapses seriously and heads will roll. No one will be spared, no matter how big he is,” he said.

On the same evening, he again visits JVC after feeling stiffness in the chest.
The doctors there press him to get admitted in the hospital, but again the patient manages to leave hospital.

Reportedly, the MS here has communicated with chest medicine consultant and asked him to admit the patient.

“She should have communicated to liaison officer also and sought the help of police. But it did not happen,” a senior doctor in JVC said.

Next morning, the patient along with doctor attendant visited CD hospital Dalgate and doctors there admitted him in hospital.

Meanwhile, the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, ordered an inquiry yesterday after reports of mishandling of the case at the JVC Hospital in Srinagar.

“A report further reveals that the patient, who was later tested positive for COVID-19, has not been handled as per the protocol required for treating such patients,” the order reads.

The investigation reveals how the patient was allowed enough time to spread the virus by intermingling with the public and relatives. “The negligence at the hands of the hospital administration has resulted in a lot of confusion and vulnerability among masses,” an official said. (KNS)

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