A 22-year-old nurse of the capital's Ibn Sina Hospital died in front of its emergency unit allegedly after being refused admission yesterday.
Habiba Sultana's family members said the hospital authorities did not admit her because they failed to produce her coronavirus test report, which had somehow been lost.
A spokesperson of the hospital said that she was either dead or close to death by the time she was brought to the hospital, and that she would not have survived the routine procedures instituted for likely Covid-19 patients after the outbreak.
Sultana suffered a stroke on June 10 and was admitted to the National Institute of Neurosciences, said her aunt Rupa Moutushi.
Her condition deteriorated on Saturday night and the doctors told the family that she should be treated in an intensive care unit, but no bed was available at the institute's ICU, she added.
"We decided [to take her to] Ibn Sina since she worked there. She was tested for Covid-19 and the report was negative. So, we were confident that admission would not be a problem," Moutushi said.
But when the family reached Ibn Sina around 1:30am, they found that the Covid-19 test report was missing from the folder handed to them by the institute.
"It was handwritten on her file that the patient was 'Covid-19 negative' but that was not enough for the doctors at the emergency," Moutushi said, adding that the doctors from the neurosciences institute also spoke to the Ibn Sina doctors confirming that Sultana did not have Covid-19.
"We begged the doctors for two hours to just give her some primary treatment while we made other arrangements, but they wouldn't touch her. We spoke to the resident physicians of the Neuromedicine department and implored them to save her.
"We called the 999 emergency hotline. They sent over police from Dhanmondi Police Station. Around 3:30am the police came to discuss. During all of this, her limbs started going limp. We were losing her. The police quickly instructed the doctors to take her to the emergency."
The doctors then hooked her to the electrocardiogram machine, but the monitor only showed a flat line, she said.
"She was moving, she was breathing when we brought her to the hospital. She died during the two hours."
Anisuzzaman, senior general manager at Ibn Sina Hospitals, said, "She was brought dead, or when she was close to death. We give primary treatment to patients who are likely to have Covid-19 and get them tested. She would not have survived that procedure."
A resident physician who requested not to be named, said, "The patient had breathing difficulties. These patients usually get admitted into the flu corner and get tested. They cannot be taken to the ICU directly. This is the hospital's protocol. The emergency unit was asked to follow the protocol."
Sultana graduated from Ibn Sina Nursing Institute's diploma programme in nursing and midwifery in 2018. She was buried in Naogaon.