Justice For Oyetri Dey

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At 10.30 on Tuesday night, Oyetri Dey had a video chat with her father from her hospital bed at AMRI Mukundapur. She looked fine and was to be discharged soon, according to her parents.

Tragedy struck in the morning, after the two-and-a-half-year-old girl from Kamalgazi in Garia was given an intravenous injection that the hospital said was Rantac, an antacid. She was asleep then, her mother Shampa said.

Oyetri had convulsions immediately after and her temperature shot up. She died soon after, triggering allegations of medical negligence and an altercation between the hospital staff and relatives and friends of the girl's parents.

"My daughter woke up with a start when the injection was administered. She convulsed soon after. I had asked the doctors to wake her up before injecting the drug," said Shampa.

The little girl had been hospitalised on Monday with acute laryngo-tracheo bronchitis, an infection of the lower respiratory tract. She had responded to treatment and was to be discharged either on Wednesday or Thursday, said the paediatrician under whose care she was admitted.

Shampa alleged that there was no oxygen supply near her daughter's bed when she started convulsing. The hospital contested the allegation. "The patient was being nebulised thrice daily in that bed, which is not possible without oxygen," Oyetri's paediatrician said.

AMRI officials said Oyetri was revived for a few minutes, after which her blood pressure started to fall and she had no pulse. "We tried to resuscitate her for an hour with nine cycles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but there was no response," said Bichitrabhanu Sarkar, the intensivist who treated her in the morning.

The girl's family has lodged two complaints at East Jadavpur police station, one about alleged medical negligence and the other against the alleged misbehaviour of a hospital employee.

"We have received the complaints Both cases have been initiated," said an officer at the police station.

Oyetri's father Jayanta, a businessman, accused the unit head of AMRI Mukundapur, Jayanti Chatterjee, of misbehaving with him and his relatives.

AMRI Mukundapur said in a statement on Wednesday night: "We have set up an investigation committee to look into the incident today. The unit head of AMRI Mukundapur, Jayanti Chatterjee, has been asked to go on leave till the investigation is over."

The statement said Chatterjee and the CEO of the hospital had been pushed by friends and relatives of the patient's family before her alleged outburst.

On the allegation of medical negligence, the hospital said a post-mortem should be done to "examine the exact cause of death or any latent congenital defect which was not mentioned by the patient party at the time of admission".

"The indications are that the girl had an underlying heart condition that went undetected. She died of an apparent cardiac arrest. We recommend an autopsy to find out the exact cause of the death," Oyetri'spaediatrician said.