• Saturday, February 28, 2015

Uncared for, patient takes his life

Staff Correspondent
The mother of Nurnobi, the patient who died after jumping off the eighth floor of the DMCH yesterday, mourns near the hospital's morgue. Photo: Star
The mother of Nurnobi, the patient who died after jumping off the eighth floor of the DMCH yesterday, mourns near the hospital's morgue. Photo: Star

He was begging for relief from the excruciating pain in his stomach at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

His helpless family scuttled from one ward to another, requesting on-duty doctors and nurses at the crack of dawn, but everyone asked them to wait till morning.

When the morning came, Nurnobi, the patient, and his family members were still waiting on the corridor of the haematology department. But they did not get a doctor to ease his pain till 9:00am.

Nurnobi perhaps found taking his own life as the only way to get rid of the anguish he had been through and jumped to his death from the eighth floor of the country's largest public hospital around 9:45am yesterday.

"From the very beginning my father did not get the treatment he should have got," said Nurnobi's son Rakibur Hasan, who went to buy a ticket for his father's treatment just moments ago.


It all started around one and a half months ago when Nurnobi, aged around 40, had felt extreme stomach ache with fever while in Bahrain where he had gone around three years ago. Before that, Nurnobi, who hailed from Lakshmipur, also worked in Saudi Arabia for more than 16 years.

Rakibur said his father went to a hospital where doctors said he had a tumour in his abdomen and required a surgery.

But instead of allowing him treatment, the company where Nurnobi used to work sent him back home on August 15. On his return, he went straight to the DMCH and was admitted to the medicine ward, his son said.

Doctors diagnosed him with anaemia and referred him to the haematology department on August 26. "But they [haematology department] told us no seat was available and asked us to come after a few days," Rakibur told The Daily Star.

Then they had taken his father home and got him checked by several physicians including kabiraj (herbal medicine practitioner), but his health did not improve.

Nurnobi's stomach ache increased on Monday night and his family took him to the DMCH around 3:00am.

"When we took him to the eighth floor [haematology department], there was no doctor or nurse. We found a doctor at the kidney ward, but he told us to meet him at the haematology department in the morning," Rakibur said.

By that time, his pain intensified and his family members went to the medicine department for help, said Nurnobi's brother Sharif.

But medicine department staff told them they had nothing to do as he was a cancer patient. They suggested seeing doctors of the haematology department in the morning, Sharif said.

"Both Rakibur and I went to different wards, but everyone asked us to wait till morning."

Nurnobi spent the night writhing in pain on the corridor of the eighth floor. "My father was restless and extremely depressed for not getting any treatment," said Rakibur.

As there was no sign of relief from the pain, Nurnobi went to toilet and his wife gave him a bath at the restroom. "He [Nurnobi] was standing at the balcony of the floor and all of a sudden jumped off," said Nurnobi's wife Kusum Begum, who was just a few wards away cleaning clothes.

"In the morning he was telling me frequently that 'no-one will treat me, I will die untreated,'" she said.

A duty nurse at the haematology department said there were doctors and nurses at the department, but they could not treat him, as he was not an admitted patient.

The department has only 10 beds for male patients, insiders said, adding that patients get admitted to this ward only in the morning.

Dr Mashiur Rahman, DMCH deputy director, said they received complaints from the victim's family and were looking into the matter.

"We will find out if there was any negligence," he told The Daily Star.

Published: 12:01 am Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Last modified: 10:08 pm Wednesday, September 03, 2014

TAGS: Dhaka Medical College Hospital DMCH Nurnobi largest public hospital haematology department

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