Cuttack: An elderly asthma patient died at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Odisha’s Cuttack city due to alleged shortage of oxygen.

The deceased has been identified as Bhababat Mohanty (82) of Balasore district.

According to sources, the elderly man was initially admitted to the Balasore district headquarters hospital due to a breathing-related issue and later shifted to the SCB Hospital as his condition deteriorated. “We reached SCB with the patient at 1 am last night. He was admitted to the casualty ward and was on oxygen support. He regained senses this morning. Later, some staff arrived at the ward and wanted to shift the patient to the old medicine ward,” the patient’s relative told the media.

He further alleged that the staff ignored their request against removing the oxygen support while he was being shifted. “After reaching the ward, we requested staff for oxygen support, but the staff left saying that their duty hour was over. We are later told that there was no oxygen. There was a delay of one hour and by the time, oxygen arrived, the patient had already died,” he said, alleging negligence on the part of the hospital authorities.

While the family was reluctant to file a police complaint as the body would then have to be sent for postmortem, they have demanded stringent action against those responsible for it.

Meanwhile, SCB administrative officer Abhinas Rout said, “It is being alleged that the patient died as there was an issue with oxygen while he was being shifted to the medicine ward. Following discussions with the SCB superintendent and the HoD of the medicine department, a committee has been formed to ascertain negligence.”

He said that the panel will examine the whole process starting from the patient’s admission to find out the lapse. “If the complaint is genuine and if any staffer is found at fault, we will take strict action immediately,” he added.

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