Pregnant woman dies in Mumbra after hospitals refuse to admit her

By, Thane
May 29, 2020 12:06 AM IST

A 28-year-old woman, who was six months pregnant, died in Mumbra on Tuesday, after several hospitals refused to admit her.

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HT Image

Around 12.30pm when Asma Banu started getting breathless, her husband took her to Burhani hospital in Mumbra.

“An X-Ray showed an infection in the chest and they asked us to take her to Kalwa hospital. When we reached there around 5.15pm, a nurse told us that they cannot admit my wife,” said Maulana Sayyad Akbar Mehdi Sahab, 38.

Sahab put her in an autorickshaw and went from one hospital to another. “I first took her to Kalsekar Hospital, which refused to admit her saying it is a Covid hospital. I took her to three other private hospitals in Mumbra, but in vain. Her health was deteriorating. Finally, I sought help from a social worker to get her admitted to Kalsekar.”

He alleged that Kalsekar hospital staff misbehaved with them. “After much pleading and political pressure, the hospital agreed to admit her. But, she was no more.”

Her death certificate says she died of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) with suspected Covid.

The couple has a six-year-old son.

“Kalsekar Hospital could have at least given her basic treatment. Moreover, my wife died at 7.45pm and they released the body around 2am,” said Sahab.

Civic-run Kalwa hospital cannot reject emergency patients. Pratibha Sawant, the hospital dean, said, “I am not aware of the incident. However, if it was a suspected Covid case, we did not have a vacant bed in the isolation ward and we cannot admit a suspected Covid patient in the general ward. The staff might have refused admission.”

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) said they have got many such complaints and have sent show-cause notices to 78 private hospitals in Mumbra, Kausa, Kalwa and Diva.

RT Kendre, health officer of TMC, said, “There is no rule which says that an emergency patient cannot be admitted in any of the private hospitals if they have not been tested for Covid. Every hospital is supposed to admit and treat patients. If the private hospitals are at fault, action will be taken.”

Kendre said Kalsekar is a Covid hospital and cannot admit suspected or non-Covid patients.

Dr Afreen Saudagar, chief executive officer of Kalsekar, said, “The patient came to Kalsekar around 4pm. We could not admit her as this is a Covid hospital and the woman being pregnant could get infected if she was not Covid positive. Our other beds were full. They came back around 7.30pm, but the patient’s health was deteriorating.”

Saudagar said there was no pulse, her saturation level was 30% and there was no respiratory rate. “We put her on a ventilator but she died. Her chest X-ray showed signs of Covid infection so we could not release the body without following the protocol,” she added.


    I am a special correspondent with Hindustan Times and also the chief of bureau for Thane. I have worked in Thane for over a decade, covering social, civic, infrastructural, political and cultural issues.

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