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Senior WB Railway official dies displaying Covid-19 like symptoms

Gautam Bandyopadhyay was reportedly denied ventilator support for 8 days!

Sabrangindia 07 Jul 2020

corona

On July 5, Gautam Bandyopadhyay, a Class-1 officer of the Indian Railways passed away in a Kolkata Hospital after displaying Covid-19 like symptoms. But what is interesting, is that though he was tested for Covid-19 twice, both his test results came out negative. His official cause of death was given to be ‘viral pneumonia’. However, what is most shocking about the case is that Bandyopadhyay was not given ventilator support for any of the eight days that he was hospitalised.

Bandyopadhyay was 50-years-old and left behind a wife and a college going son. According to a source close to the family he was otherwise a healthy man who did not smoke or have any prior history of lung disease. “The family is still in shock because Gautam’s death comes within just 10 days of his father’s death,” said the source. “Gautam started showing symptoms shortly after returning from his father’s funeral.” The source said that the cause of his father’s death was not clear as he was an elderly man, but he may have contracted Covid-19 though that was never confirmed.

Now, the Eastern Railway Promotee Officers’ Association (ERPOA) has demanded an inquiry into the cause of his death, particularly raising concerns about denial of ventilator support to the ailing distressed man. In a letter addressed to the General Manager of Eastern Railways, ERPOA has presented a timeline of his illness.

According to the letter, Gautam Bandyopadhyay was brought to the BR Singh Hospital (BRSH) by ambulance at 10 A.M on June 27. However, since he did not have a Covid-19 test report he was not granted admittance. Bandyopadhyay was then taken to the Howrah Orthopedic Hospital which is a dedicated Covid-19 care facility. He was admitted there at 11 A.M on June 27 itself, however, his swab for Covid-19 was allegedly not taken till June 29.

The Principal Chief Personnel Officer was then sent a text message on June 30 by B.K Das, Dy. CWM/SW/HWH at 11:40 A.M that read, “Respected Madam, condition of Shri Gautam Bandyopadhyay, SPO/S&T, who was admitted in Howrah Orthopedic Hospital is very serious as reported by doctor. Kindly request CMS/HWH Orthopedic to refer him to either Apollo, AMRI or Fortis for better treatment.” To this the PCPO reportedly responded with a Whatsapp message at 8:46 P.M saying, “Yes trying with PCMD”

The same night Bandyopadhyay was transferred to BRSH in a critical condition after his Covid-19 tests came out negative. The attending doctor checked Bandyopadhyay and another swab was taken as he was displaying Covid-19 like symptoms. While the hospital tried administering oxygen, Bandyopadhyay was unable to take it on account of his fast deteriorating health.   

On July 4, his second Covid-19 test report came back negative and doctors concluded that Bandyopadhyay was suffering from viral pneumonia in both lungs. Bandyopadhyay passed away on July 5 at 10:45 A.M the next day. The ERPOA President alleges, “It is to mention that no ventilator support was given to patient, during this 8-days period. (sic)”

When SabrangIndia contacted the office of Dr. Krishod Chandra Sahoo, Principal Chief Medical Director, his personal secretary said that Dr. Sahoo was not available. He further directed us to contact BR Singh Hospital for details. When we called the BRSH we were told they do not have a system to transfer calls to the public relations department and asked us to meet them in person. They also refused to give us the extension number or direct line and hung up. It is noteworthy that the BRSH had to be sanitized in April this year after a doctor tested positive.

Meanwhile, repeated calls to Nikhil Chakraborty, Chief PRO Eastern Railways went unanswered.

At present, West Bengal has a total of over 22,000 cases of Covid-19 out of which over 14,000 people have recovered. 757 people have died so far. On Sunday the state reportedly saw the highest single-day spike with 895 fresh cases being reported.

Meanwhile, this entire episode surrounding the death of Gautam Bandyopadhyay raises three key questions:

  • If two Covid-19 tests came back negative despite the patient showing symptoms, how reliable are the testing kits?

  • If pneumonia is one of the most common comorbidity factors in case of Covid-19 deaths, should patients be made to wait for Covid-19 test results before beginning treatment?

  • If the patient shows symptoms like inability to breathe (Bandyopadhyay couldn’t be administered oxygen), shouldn’t he/she be immediately placed on ventilator support?

Truth is, there is a strong possibility that Bandyopadhyay’s death was preventable. But who is responsible?


The ERPOA letter to the GM Eastern Railways may be read here: 

 

Related:

Quarantine facilities across the country crumbling apart show findings

Senior WB Railway official dies displaying Covid-19 like symptoms

Gautam Bandyopadhyay was reportedly denied ventilator support for 8 days!

corona

On July 5, Gautam Bandyopadhyay, a Class-1 officer of the Indian Railways passed away in a Kolkata Hospital after displaying Covid-19 like symptoms. But what is interesting, is that though he was tested for Covid-19 twice, both his test results came out negative. His official cause of death was given to be ‘viral pneumonia’. However, what is most shocking about the case is that Bandyopadhyay was not given ventilator support for any of the eight days that he was hospitalised.

Bandyopadhyay was 50-years-old and left behind a wife and a college going son. According to a source close to the family he was otherwise a healthy man who did not smoke or have any prior history of lung disease. “The family is still in shock because Gautam’s death comes within just 10 days of his father’s death,” said the source. “Gautam started showing symptoms shortly after returning from his father’s funeral.” The source said that the cause of his father’s death was not clear as he was an elderly man, but he may have contracted Covid-19 though that was never confirmed.

Now, the Eastern Railway Promotee Officers’ Association (ERPOA) has demanded an inquiry into the cause of his death, particularly raising concerns about denial of ventilator support to the ailing distressed man. In a letter addressed to the General Manager of Eastern Railways, ERPOA has presented a timeline of his illness.

According to the letter, Gautam Bandyopadhyay was brought to the BR Singh Hospital (BRSH) by ambulance at 10 A.M on June 27. However, since he did not have a Covid-19 test report he was not granted admittance. Bandyopadhyay was then taken to the Howrah Orthopedic Hospital which is a dedicated Covid-19 care facility. He was admitted there at 11 A.M on June 27 itself, however, his swab for Covid-19 was allegedly not taken till June 29.

The Principal Chief Personnel Officer was then sent a text message on June 30 by B.K Das, Dy. CWM/SW/HWH at 11:40 A.M that read, “Respected Madam, condition of Shri Gautam Bandyopadhyay, SPO/S&T, who was admitted in Howrah Orthopedic Hospital is very serious as reported by doctor. Kindly request CMS/HWH Orthopedic to refer him to either Apollo, AMRI or Fortis for better treatment.” To this the PCPO reportedly responded with a Whatsapp message at 8:46 P.M saying, “Yes trying with PCMD”

The same night Bandyopadhyay was transferred to BRSH in a critical condition after his Covid-19 tests came out negative. The attending doctor checked Bandyopadhyay and another swab was taken as he was displaying Covid-19 like symptoms. While the hospital tried administering oxygen, Bandyopadhyay was unable to take it on account of his fast deteriorating health.   

On July 4, his second Covid-19 test report came back negative and doctors concluded that Bandyopadhyay was suffering from viral pneumonia in both lungs. Bandyopadhyay passed away on July 5 at 10:45 A.M the next day. The ERPOA President alleges, “It is to mention that no ventilator support was given to patient, during this 8-days period. (sic)”

When SabrangIndia contacted the office of Dr. Krishod Chandra Sahoo, Principal Chief Medical Director, his personal secretary said that Dr. Sahoo was not available. He further directed us to contact BR Singh Hospital for details. When we called the BRSH we were told they do not have a system to transfer calls to the public relations department and asked us to meet them in person. They also refused to give us the extension number or direct line and hung up. It is noteworthy that the BRSH had to be sanitized in April this year after a doctor tested positive.

Meanwhile, repeated calls to Nikhil Chakraborty, Chief PRO Eastern Railways went unanswered.

At present, West Bengal has a total of over 22,000 cases of Covid-19 out of which over 14,000 people have recovered. 757 people have died so far. On Sunday the state reportedly saw the highest single-day spike with 895 fresh cases being reported.

Meanwhile, this entire episode surrounding the death of Gautam Bandyopadhyay raises three key questions:

  • If two Covid-19 tests came back negative despite the patient showing symptoms, how reliable are the testing kits?

  • If pneumonia is one of the most common comorbidity factors in case of Covid-19 deaths, should patients be made to wait for Covid-19 test results before beginning treatment?

  • If the patient shows symptoms like inability to breathe (Bandyopadhyay couldn’t be administered oxygen), shouldn’t he/she be immediately placed on ventilator support?

Truth is, there is a strong possibility that Bandyopadhyay’s death was preventable. But who is responsible?


The ERPOA letter to the GM Eastern Railways may be read here: 

 

Related:

Quarantine facilities across the country crumbling apart show findings

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