A three-and-a-half-year-old boy succumbed to dengue at Parel's KEM Hospital on September 25, which led to a fight between doctors and relatives. The doctors went on an indefinite strike, hampering medical services.
KEM doctors said Abu Sufyan Qureshi, 3, was brought in on September 24, deadliest form of the disease, called dengue shock syndrome, and allegedly reached in an "extremely critical state". The doctors had informed the family that the child condition is critical and the dire need of an ICU and all nine beds of the pediatric ICU (PICU) at the hospital were occupied. The family, however, signed the 'high-risk consent form' and agreed to admit the child in the general ward, as he had vomited continuously throughout the journey from their residence at Shivaji Nagar in Govandi to KEM.
The child was started on saline and medicines "within 10 to 15 minutes" even before the admission formalities were completed. "He was internally bleeding by then," he said. An ultrasonography examination was also performed. They eventually managed to find a bed in ward no 2 around 4.30am where the child was shifted from the emergency ward, reported sources.
"My son wanted to drink cold water. He was in great discomfort and throwing a fit in the cot. I stepped out of the ward to fetch water only to come back to his cold and lifeless body," said child's mother Begum. The doctors were trying to resuscitate her son when she entered the ward. Her husband Mirajuddin Qureshi (32), a daily wage laborer, and his brother Junaid Qureshi (26), already had a round of altercation with the doctors. "My husband told me how he kept calling the doctor when my son was sinking but the doctor showed no urgency," she said. The situation heated up soon as child's father Mirajuddin and child' uncle Junaid allegedly started hitting the doctors.
Two of the three injured resident doctors sustained head injuries. They were beaten up with iron stools, rods and wooden sticks snatched from two female security guards posted in the ward. The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) alleged that one of the security guards was sleeping, while the other was working with a fractured leg. "Both had run away. The doctors were mercilessly beaten up with iron rods, which could have killed them," said Dr Sagar Mundada, president, central MARD. Dr Supe and JJ Hospital dean Dr T P Lahane approached the Bhoiwada police to lodge an FIR.
KEM hospital needs over 200 additional security personnel apart from the existing sanctioned strength of 168. After the incident, it also emerged that the CCTV camera just outside the ward was not functional, MARD representatives said.