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No stretcher, so mentally challenged woman dragged by limbs at Bihar hospital

In absence of a stretcher, a woman was lugged like a corpse, with three persons holding her by her limbs, and moved from OPD to medical ward of the Ara sadar hospital, in course of her treatment.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2017 19:17 IST
Prashant Ranjan
Ara sadar hospital
No stretcher available, so a patient is lugged from one part of Ara sadar hospital to another, on Wednesday. (HT photo / Devraj Ojha)

In a bizarre incident, a mentally challenged woman was dragged on the floor for around 100 metres, in absence of a stretcher, while she was being moved from one part of the Ara sadar (district) hospital to another, in course of her treatment, here on Wednesday.

Shakuntala Devi, 32, was lugged like a corpse, with three persons holding her by her limbs, and moved from the out-patient department (OPD) to the medical ward of the hospital.

Devi’s husband, Anil Shah, a cycle rickshaw puller, claimed they had to lug her in absence of a stretcher at the hospital. The hospital has, however, denied having received any request for a stretcher, which it said was available.

Shah said his wife had to be taken to the OPD for administering an injection. His request to the paramedical staff for a stretcher, after she fell unconscious there, was turned down on the pretext that the hospital did not have one available.  

“Left with no option, I requested a hospital staff and a female attendant of another patient to carry her (Devi) back to the ward,” said Shah.

Hospital deputy superintendent Dr Satish Kumar Sinha said, “There is no reason why a patient, admitted to a ward, will be taken to the OPD for administering an injection. The patient had wandered into the OPD. Her husband, with the help of some others, held her by her limbs and brought her back to the ward. We never received any request for a stretcher, which we have aplenty.”

Devi was admitted to the medical ward of the Ara sadar hospital four days back, when she developed complications related to her mental illness.

This is not the first instance of a patient being lugged from one place to another, in absence of stretchers at government health facilities in Bihar.

READ: Man with legs in plaster cast crawls to get medical aid in Patna hospital

On August 30 last year, a man with leg in a plaster cast had to crawl to get medical aid at the Muzaffarpur sadar hospital. Two months later, on November 3, with no stretcher or ambulance available, Bihar cops had to lug a patient to hospital.

READ: Denied van, kin carry Bihar woman’s body on foot

Another incident at the Muzaffarpur hospital on March 7, brought back to mind harrowing August 2016 images of Odisha tribal Dana Manjhi carrying on his shoulder the body of his wife, after being denied a vehicle to carry it to his village for her last rites.

The husband of a female patient, who died, had to carry her dead body for nearly 500 metres before they could hire an autorickshaw, after the hospital administration failed to provide an ambulance or a hearse, to take the body home.