Published: 05th March 2021
Students claim deceased IISc researcher was not given proper medical attention on campus. This is how IISc responded
Rahul Pratap Singh, an MTech student from the Department of Mechanical Engineering was playing football at the campus ground when he suddenly collapsed
After two students died on the IISc campus within 24 hours on March 2, while one student died by suicide, another student collapsed while playing football on campus. Some students on the campus have alleged that the student did not receive proper and immediate medical attention and are accusing the institute of not doing enough to save the student’s life.
Rahul Pratap Singh, an MTech student from the Department of Mechanical Engineering was playing football at the campus ground when he suddenly collapsed. A notice by the institute explained that the student was given first aid at the campuses’ health centre and then taken to MS Ramaiah Hospital where he was declared dead. However, some students from the campus say that Rahul did not get proper treatment. The students claim that eyewitnesses’ accounts paint a different picture of what happened at the ground. “The registrar’s mail does not stand with the statements of eyewitnesses present during Rahul’s death. All of them reported that neither the ambulance nor the health centre was equipped for the emergency. The Ramaiah hospital doctor said that if he had received treatment within the first fifteen minutes, he may have been saved,” a student statement said.
The statement requested other students to not attend the condolence meeting until the registrar explains the alleged medical negligence and responds to why ‘false information’ was propagated. Another statement, not attributed to any specific student group stated that Rahul’s death could have been avoided if there wasn’t a delay in response from emergency services of IISc, if there had been a supporting doctor or staff accompanying the ambulance during the pick-up. The students claimed there was no equipment except an oxygen mask that was available in the ambulance, “One of the nurses did not know how to give basic first aid like CPR. Although a doctor is supposed to be present at the health centre at the time, no doctor was available at the time of emergency. When the doctor arrived and asked for the emergency sodium-based injection, it was not available and security guards did not have the emergency contact numbers,” the students claimed.
“After the post mortem we asked the doctor what better could have been done and the doctor said that if he had received treatment within 15 minutes, he could have been saved. If the system was efficient enough to not waste those 15 minutes. We are not blaming anyone. We just want to highlight the gaps in our emergency preparedness. We expect IISc health facilities to be better which will save lives in the future. IISc being one of the finest research institutes, better medical facilities are a must. What happened with Rahul should not happen to anybody else,” the students wrote.
In response to the issues raised by the students, the institute issued a statement about the action being taken with regard to the health centre. The institute’s registrar said that the director had approved several actions that would be taken regarding the operations of the health centre — the doctor on night duty need to be physically present at the health centre from 8 am - 8 pm without exception, the ambulance driver on duty needs to be the health centre, in an emergency, when an ambulance is requested, the patient needs to be taken directly to the closest hospital. “The availability of doctors at the Health Centre needs to be from 8 am - 8 pm, Monday through Saturday. The total number of working hours in a month for a doctor is the same as that of a regular employee and a roster may be created to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the health centre,” the statement said.