West Bengal teenager dies after AC mechanic posing as doctor fails to provide critical care

16-year-old Arijit Das of Birbhum, West Bengal has died after a fake doctor in a private ambulance failed to provide him treatment. The incident happened on Thursday night.

According to reports, Arijit Das, who was appearing for Class 10th board exams was suffering from a prolonged fever and complained of chest pains. He was admitted to a nursing home in Burdwan from where he was being taken to another hospital in Kolkata. The boy’s family had requested for the ambulance and a doctor to take him to Kolkata for treatment.

However, upon reaching Kolkata, the doctors found Arijit Das dead. Upon inquiry, they discovered that the ‘doctor’ who accompanied Arijit in the ambulance was an air conditioning mechanic named Sheikh Sarfarajuddin. Sarfarajuddin was posing as a doctor. He also wore a white apron and acted as a doctor.

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Arijit was a resident of Nausipur in Nalihati area. He had appeared for three subjects in the ongoing board exams and was admitted to hospital after he had a severe fever and complained of back and chest pains. His family took him to Rampurhat subdivisional hospital from which he was taken to the Annapurna  Nursing Home in Burdwan.

When the boy’s conditioned continued to deteriorate, the family requested the Nursing Home Authorities for an ambulance to take him to the Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS). The boy’s family has stated that they had agreed to pay Rs 8000 for the ambulance and another Rs 8000 for the doctor, but they were not allowed to accompany their boy in the ambulance and they were asked to hire another vehicle to reach Kolkata.

The family has suspected something amiss when they saw the driver, 26-year-old Tara Babu Sha fixing the oxygen cylinder instead of the doctor. The family has alleged that Arijit could have survived had the fake doctor known how to operate the life support system inside the ICCU ambulance.

When the doctors at Kolkata declared Arijit as ‘brought dead’, Sheikh Sarfarajuddin allegedly tried to escape amidst the confusion but he was nabbed by the family and after interrogation initially stated that he was a medical technician. But later at the police station, he admitted that he was just an AC mechanic.

An FIR has been registered in the case and both the AC mechanic and the driver have been arrested by the Purba Jadavpur police. The Annapurna Nursing home officials have claimed that the ambulance and its staff are not associated with them but the district health officials have assured that the Nursing Home will also be probed in this matter.

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