Parents of a schoolboy, who died after an appendectomy, alleged that negligence of clinic authorities caused his death. The accusation was also echoed by the doctor who had conducted the surgery.
The incident took place in the unregistered Bogra Dolphin Clinic and Diagnostic Centre in the town's Satanibari area on Wednesday.
The victim was identified as Md Sakib Hasan, 13, son of Abdul Aziz, of Shajahanpur upazila of the district. Sakib was a seventh-grade student of Faizullah High School.
Aziz claimed that doctors did not order any physical tests before the surgery, and only blood tests were done by the relatives of the patient.
Later, the relatives of the deceased gathered around the clinic and local police intervened. Then, Bogra Sadar police recovered the body and sent it to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital for autopsy.
Officer-in-Charge (investigation) of the station, Md Kamruzzaman Mia, said, "No case has been filed yet but we will take legal action after primary investigation once it is filed.”
The next afternoon, a mobile court led by Executive Magistrate Mamtaz Mahal, in presence of the District Civil Surgeon Md Shamsul Haque, conducted a drive at the clinic. At the time, they found it to be shuttered and all patients had been evacuated. However, this paper could not know the whereabouts of the patients.
The magistrate then sealed the clinic.
“As we found the clinic shuttered and weren't able to contact the clinic authority, we sealed it. Police will take legal action,” Mahal said.
“We didn't know about this clinic as it is unregistered. They do not have any legal papers to run a clinic like Dolphin,” Shamsul said. The clinic had been operating without registration for the past four months, he added.
According to Aziz, his son had been suffering from a sharp pain near the navel and upper abdomen for the past few days. Later, doctors identified the pain as appendicitis and advised his parents to go for an operation.
Md Wasim, Aziz's neighbour and a broker of Dolphin Clinic, lured him there for the operation, promising a comparatively lower cost.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, Sakib was admitted to the clinic and the appendectomy was conducted in the clinic's operation theater around 8:30pm. It was conducted by OT in-charge Dr AK Pal, and anesthetist Md Sadequl Islam.
Sakib's relatives grew tense after he had not regained consciousness even an hour after the operation. They then took him to Teesta Clinic in nearby Kanachgari area but the authority there refused to admit Sakib and advised that he be taken to a government hospital.
An unconscious Sakib was then again taken to Dolphin Clinic but there was only a nurse and no doctor there at the time. Finally, his relatives rushed him to the Bogra Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College and Hospital where the on-duty doctor pronounced him dead.
Talking to Dr Pal, he said the operation was fine but after Sakib returned from Teesta Clinic, his blood pressure had sharply dropped. He pointed fingers at the clinic management, saying that the anesthetist had left the clinic soon after the operation began instead of staying for the entire duration of the procedure.
When asked about not ordering any physical tests, Pal admitted it and said, “The clinic authority told me that everything was fine. That's why I did not check the patient's medical reports.”
Dr Samir Hossain Mishu, of the surgery department in Bogra Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital, and a member secretary of the district's clinic inspection, told The Daily Star that no doctor can practice in an unregistered clinic.
However, the building owner Tapan Chakrabarty said the clinic authority had shown all the legal papers before signing a deed for renting the place.
Our reporter could not reach the clinic owner John Mandal for comment.