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July 9, 2019

Ransacking of ICU equipment: Noorul Hassan dies in hospital 10 days after surgery

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July 9, 2019

LAHORE: An abnormally obese patient, Noorul Hassan, who was shifted from his house in Sadiqabad to a private hospital in Lahore for laparoscopic treatment, passed away 10 days after his surgery, on Monday.

His death was allegedly caused due to ransacking of the equipment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital by the relatives of a woman, who died due to alleged negligence of doctors during an operation.

Fifty-five years-old Noorul Hassan, weighing 330kg, was brought to Lahore for treatment on the directions of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, and he was under observation at the ICU, following his successful surgery at the Shalamar Hospital on June 28.

Doctors and Noorul Hassan’s attendants told the media that the patient was recovering fast and doing fine until an ugly incident occurred after the death of a female patient during an operation.

Sources said 45-year-old Tehmina, wife of Muhammad Ali, was brought to the hospital for delivery on July 4. Zaheeruddin Babar, brother of the deceased patient, claimed that a caesarean operation was conducted on July 5. Following the operation, the patient complained about pain in her abdomen. “A doctor conducted the second surgery and she died of excessive bleeding due to negligence of the doctor, who had conducted both operations,” alleged Zaheer.

Noorul Hassan and female patient Tehmina had been kept in the same ICU. Dr Maaz Hasan, the laparoscopic surgeon, who operated upon Noorul Hassan, told the media on Monday that the attendants of a female patient, who claimed negligence on the part doctors, scuffled with the staff and also damaged the hospital property. “It resulted in sudden heart attack to Noorul Hasan, who died early Monday morning,” said Dr Maaz.

The wife and nephew of Noorul Hassan also confirmed that some attendants of a female patient turned violent, scuffled with the staff, ransacked the equipment and unplugged the ventilator, which caused immediate death of Noorul Hassan. “The doctors and medical staff escaped to save themselves and the patient was left unattended, which caused his death,” they added. They said that doctors had done everything they could do to save the life of their patient, but unfortunately, he could not survive. “The doctors are not responsible for Noorul Hassan’s death at all,” they added. According to a source, Hassan’s surgery incurred a total cost of around Rs800,000.

After the situation normalised, Dr Maaz told the media the medical staff noted the anomaly and attempted to resuscitate the patient, but were unable to do so. Later, he said, the family was told about the death of the patient.

Additional Medical Superintendents (AMS) Dr Rizwan and Dr Nayar said that relatives of the female patient had broken windows, switched off the ventilators and tried to manhandle doctors and medical staff. “Nurses left the ICU during the rumpus to save their lives,” they added.

Hassan’s nephew said when he visited his uncle on Sunday, he was congratulated by the doctor and was told that everything was fine. “Till 1am, he was fine, but at 8:15am, we were informed that he had died,” he said, adding that they could not even go into the ICU because there was police present there,” he added.

Asma, Hassan’s wife, also said, “Noorul Hassan was fine until last night before the news of his death was conveyed to us in the morning at around 8am.”

COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa had directed for special medical treatment of Noorul Hassan, a taxi-driver from Sadiqabad, after taking notice of an appeal made on the social media earlier last month. The patient was airlifted by a military helicopter for treatment at a private hospital in Lahore, as he was unable to travel in an ambulance by road.

Reacting to the news of Noorul Hassan’s death on Monday, the COAS, in a statement, expressed grief on the sad demise. “Will of Allah is to be done while one can only make an effort. May Allah bless the departed soul, Ameen,” the COAS was quoted by DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor as saying in a tweet.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson said the hospital administration was investigating the incident and examining the CCTV footage as well. Besides, Punjab Healthcare Commission has also constituted a three-member committee, which has started investigation to ascertain the cause of two deaths in the ICU.

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