Skip to main content

When ICU turns into a business opportunity:

When ICU turns into a business opportunity:
Kochi photographer tells a horror story
R. Vijayakumar, a former journalist and the proud father of a medical practitioner, walked into a city hospital with fever early in February this year. When he left the hospital in April, he was taken out on a stretcher, his muscles wasted, his voice silenced and the family poorer by Rs. 15 lakh.
Things started going wrong on January 31, the day his son Rahul had a freak accident at home. Rahul had bumped his head on the bed while jumping out after a nap. He was admitted to a prominent city hospital, known for its emergency care, with a minor internal injury to his head.
The doctors said Rahul was critically injured. “Steel your mind to face any eventuality,” a doctor told a distraught Vijayakumar. Though, Rahul got out of the hospital and went home healthy a week later, Vijayakumar did not expect to be a victim of the healthcare business actually tying him down to a hospital bed for close to three months.
Vijayakumar contracted fever while staying at his son’s bedside. He was worried that Rahul, an MBBS graduate, would miss his entrance examinations for a postgraduate seat. Rahul was also scheduled to start working at the same hospital in February. The stress of his son’s injury, coupled with the responsibility of managing his photography studio and household chores took a toll on Vijayakumar and his fever grew worse.
He was admitted to the same hospital four days after his son was, after he bit his tongue at night during a severe bout of chills. Vijayakumar was taken to the casualty department around midnight. The doctors administered preliminary care and Vijayakumar felt better right away.
Around 3 a.m., the doctors said he would have to be admitted. Vijayakumar resisted, saying he did not want to get admitted and that he had to take care of his son. “When he said he wanted to leave, the hospital staff pinned him down and gave him a sedative injection,” said Libu, Vijayakumar’s friend, who had taken him to the hospital.
Rahul later found that his father was sedated with Serenace, a trade name for Haloperidol, an antipsychotic drug usually used to treat patients suffering from acute delirium and psychosis.
Vijayakumar said the hospital staff would put him under sedation every time he regained consciousness. “He was always sleeping whenever I went to visit him at the ICU. We were really worried,” says Bindu, Vijayakumar’s wife.
Vijayakumar was at the hospital for 11 days, during which he developed Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS), a potentially fatal condition known to be a side effect of using Haloperidol.
The family did not inform Rahul, a trained doctor, of his father’s condition as he was still recuperating from his head injury. Doctors at the hospital said his father was mentally ill. The family took Vijayakumar to a psychiatric hospital where the doctors completely ruled out mental illness.
Vijayakumar’s psychosis was temporary and induced by his fever, which the earlier hospital had done nothing to cure. A psychiatrist stopped Vijayakumar from taking a bunch of antipsychotic drugs that the first hospital had prescribed.
The family then took Vijayakumar to another hospital for treatment. While the psychiatrist there confirmed that Vijayakumar’s psychosis was fever-induced, the neurosurgeon had other ideas. He said the 51-year-old was suffering from a rare disease called Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis, a topic of special interest and research for the neurosurgeon.
From there, things went steadily downhill. Vijayakumar was treated for the disease without any evidence to prove the illness. The doctor administered IV steroids, and withdrew them suddenly when the tests came back negative.
Vijayakumar almost lost his life at this point and the family saw no option but to take him back to the first hospital, this time critically ill and near death.
His trials did not end there. He was confined to the ICU for 32 days. This time, he had severe pneumonia and had picked up several bacterial infections due to his prolonged stay at the hospital. The doctors prescribed several high-end drugs to which the bacteria causing his illness were resistant.
It is now a month and a half since Vijayakumar got out of the hospital. He has been undergoing Ayurvedic treatment and can now manage to walk a few steps without support. Rahul is prepared to fight against the rot that has entered his chosen profession.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


The whole of the Ramayana is an Epic of humanity. Humanity does not mean mankind but that which particularly characterises human nature.

It is in this sense, Sri Rama is oftentimes called the paragon of humanity, an example of the perfection of human nature.

This perfection of human nature is not inclusive of the foibles of man in his lower endowments.

In the majestic words of Valmiki with which the Epic commences, we are given a description of what this perfection of humanity is, as an answer given by sage Narada to a question put by sage Valmiki as to who is the ideal of human nature.

"Whom do you think, O sage, is the perfect embodiment of humanity in this world and can you give me an example of such a perfection?" was the question put by Valmiki to Narada.

And then, Narada commences a dignified description of a personality whom today we know and adore as Sri Rama.

That majestic feature of bodily personali…

PM’s Mann Ki Baat Programme on All India Radio :- 25/02/2018

25 Feb, 2018

My dear countrymen, Namaskar.

Let us begin today’s Mann Ki Baat with a phone call.

Phone Call…

Thank you very much for your phone call. My young friends have asked me many questions related to Science; they keep writing on quite a few points. All of us have seen that the sea appears blue, but we know from routine life experiences that water has no colour at all. Have we ever thought why water acquires colour in rivers and seas? The same thought occurred to a young man in the 1920s. The same question gave rise to a great scientist of modern India. When we talk about Science, the first name that strikes us is that of Bharat Ratna Sir C.V.Raman. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his outstanding work on light scattering. One of his discoveries is famous as the Raman Effect.

We celebrate the 28th of February as National Science Day since on this very day, he is said to have discovered the phenomenon of light scattering, for which the Nobel Prize was conferred upon him. This …

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Biography :

Personal Life & Legacy :

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel tied the knot at the age of 18, to Jhaverba, who was twelve years of age then. Following the traditional Hindu customs, which allowed the bride to stay with her parents until her husband had a decent income and an established household, the two stayed apart for a few years until Sardar Patel had definite income to fall back on.

Along with Jhaverba, he set up a house in Godhra. The couple was blessed with a daughter, Manibehn, in 1904, and a son, Dahyabhai, two years later.

In 1909, Jhaverba, who was suffering from cancer, underwent a major surgical operation. Though the operation was successful, Jhaverba’s health continued to decline. She passed away the same year. Patel was against remarrying and instead raised his children with the help of his family.

Patel’s health started declining in the summer of 1950. Though he was taken care of intensely, his health worsened. To recuperate, he was flown to Mumbai, where he lodged at the Bi…