R LESTER MAKANG UKHRUL, 15th Apr: Family and relatives of K Chingyaphy, a patient who died during treatment on Saturday, took back her body around midnight of the same day following an amicable settlement reached between the patient’s party and the Ukhrul District Hospital through intervention by Ukhrul ADC, district administration, district police and civil society organisations of the district.
Chingyaphy, 13, of Kachai village, who was living with her family at Kahumtang in the district headquarters, died on Saturday a little more than an hour after she was admitted to the hospital. She was admitted to the hospital around 10.50 am after she developed loose motion. She had also taken medicines prescribed by doctors of the hospital during OPD treatment on the previous (Friday).
The settlement was reached during the second round of joint meeting of the patient’s party, hospital authority, Ukhrul ADC, district administration, police and CSOs held at around 7 pm at the hospital that continued till 9.30 pm. As per the agreement, the district authorities decided to hand over a sum of Rs 1 lakh to the bereaved family as a token of condolence and solidarity.
Sources said that family and relatives took back the body of Chingyaphy from the hospital around 11 pm Saturday.
Earlier, a similar joint meeting was convened at about 4.30 pm at the hospital conference hall in the presence of ADC EM Kapangpam Zimik, AC Rita Leiyaphy and CMO in charge Dr Kapangring but could not make any headway.
Before reaching the settlement, tension ran high in the hospital at Hungpung in Ukhrul district headquarters throughout the day as family members and relatives of K Chingyaphy refused to claim the body accusing negligence of doctors and staff.
According to family sources, on admitting Chingyaphy to cot No 37 in female ward, she was given NS drip by nurses but not a single doctor attended to the patient even as she was in critical condition due to a severe bout of loose motion.
Chingyaphy’s mother K Themhorchon narrated that during the absence of doctors and nurses, her daughter suddenly developed difficulty in breathing and rushed to call doctor and ask for oxygen equipment to save her daughter. "But there was no doctor and even the oxygen equipment was not kept ready for use," she cried, adding that at least 15 minutes were wasted in arrangement of the equipment. "When we reached her Cot with the equipment, Chingyaphy was gone," she sobbed, while questioning how a hospital could function when the patient needed emergency services to save their lives.
At the same time, family and relatives of the deceased demanded the hospital authority to clarify on the details of medication and causes of Chingyaphy’s death as black patches appeared all over her body soon after she died.
Meanwhile, a joint meeting of the patient's family, civil society organisations, district police and the hospital authority was convened at about 4.30 pm Saturday at the hospital’s conference hall in presence of ADC EM Kapangpam Zimik, AC Rita Leiyaphy and CMO in charge Dr Kapangring. However, no settlement could be arrived after discussing the matter for around an hour as the patient party refused to claim the body.
Dr H Achan, under whose supervision the patient was given treatment, said that it was an unprecedented case as had only administered NS drips and O2 for dehydration and loose motion. On his absence when the patient died, he said that he was attending to patients at OPD and could not move out due to shortage of doctors at the hospital.
Many public members who attended the joint meeting, however, expressed anguish over the failure of doctors in attending to the patient who was in a critical condition and as to why the doctor could not pay enough attention to the patient by leaving the OPD patients for a few minutes.