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West Bengal: ‘Dead’ Coronavirus patient found alive days later, hospital accused of negligence

Since the body was covered in protective gear as per Coronavirus protocols, the family of Shibdas Banerjee failed to ascertain the identity of the deceased.

A hospital in Khardah city in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal has been accused of gross negligence. In a shocking incident, the hospital had declared a fully recovered Coronavirus patient, Shibdas Banerjee, as dead by confusing him with another elderly patient, Mohinimohan Mukherjee, in the hospital.

As per reports, Shibdas Banerjee and Mohinimohan Mukherjee were admitted to the Balrampur Basu Hospital on the same day of November 5. On November 7, both of them were referred to the Barasat Covid-19 hospital. However, at that time, only one vacant bed was available. After consultation with the doctors, Mohinimohan Mukherjee was transferred to the new hospital instead of Shibdas Banerjee. But as luck would have it, some of the latter’s hospital admission documents got mixed with the former’s, resulting in Mohinimohan Mukherjee getting admitted under the name of Shibdas Banerjee.

On 13 November, Mukherjee passed away and the hospital authorities instead contacted the family of Shibdas Mukherjee. It was revealed that his family was handed over the dead body of Mohinimohan Mukherjee instead, who performed the cremation, believing it was Shibdas Banerjee. Since the body was covered in protective gear as per Coronavirus protocols, the family of Shibdas Banerjee failed to ascertain the identity of the deceased.

Health Department seeks strict action against hospital staff

The incident came to light when the family of Mohinimohan Mukherjee was called by the hospital staff to inform about Shibdas Banerjee’s recovery. When the family members pointed out that they did not know the patient, the hospital staff was alarmed. The family members of Shibdas Banerjee were then informed by the hospital authorities of the mismatch, post which they visited the hospital and brought him home.

It is important to point that the family members of Shibdas Banerjee were mourning his death and conducting his funeral rituals when informed by the hospital staff about the negligence on their part. ABP News reported that the Health Department has found allegations of medical negligence to be true against 4-5 workers, employed with the Balrampur Basu Hospital. It has also sought strict action against the accused health workers.

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