'No ventilators', 78-yr-old COVID positive woman dies after hospital turns her away

78-year-old COVID positive woman turned away by govt hospital saying no ventilators, dies
Pathumma (78)

Kottakkal (Malappuram): An elderly woman who tested positive for COVID died at a private hospital after being forced to spend a whole night seeking medical attention as the Manjeri government Govt Medical College turned her away saying there were no ventilators available.

The deceased has been identified as Pathumma (78), wife of the late Karapath Yusuf of Pilathara, Marakkara.

She tested positive for COVID around 11 pm on Monday night at a private hospital in Changuvetty in Kottakkal. She was taken to the casualty ward of the medical college about 26 km away around midnight but the hospital did not admit her saying there were no vacant beds with ventilators, her grandson M K Nishad said.

Pathumma was kept in the ambulance for three hours. When the authorities at the Changuvetty hospital said they will make available the necessary medical facilities, she was taken there back and admitted around 4 am on Tuesday. Although she was provided with a ventilator bed, she died around 5.30 am

Moideenkutty, Dawood, Nasser, Basheer, Zakaria, Rabia, Subaida and Maimoona are her children while Kunjathu, Kulasu, Mumtaz, Zerina, Hajara, Moosa, Saidalavi and the late Muhammad are her daughters and sons-in-law.

Medical College Hospital Superintendent Dr KV Nandakumar and RMO Dr Jalil Vallanchira said the incident did not come to their notice and that no complaint was received about ventilator beds not being made available. They also said the hospital currently has over 40 ventilators.

Here's what happened:

September 21

Pathumma is taken to a private hospital in Puthanathani

11.30 pm: She is referred to the Manjeri Medical College, a hospital for COVID treatment.

September 22

12.30 am: She is taken to the medical college 26 km away, but is turned away saying there are no free ventilators

3 am: She is again made to travel 26 km back to the hospital in Kottakkal

4 am: She is admitted to the hospital at Kottakkal

5.30 am: She dies