[Photo Source: Facebook/JusticeForHardik]

Hardik Jena, a nine-year-old boy, was an unfortunate victim of medical negligence in Hyderabad, India.

While playing in his school, Glendale Academy, in Hydershakot, Hardik accidently cut his hand on glass by falling out of a windowpane. Even though he was immediately taken to the school’s medical unit and given medical aid, he was later admitted to a private hospital, Olive Hospital, at Tolichowki on January 27 around 11 a.m. Initially, doctor’s told Hardik’s parents that the cut was minor and only a few stitches were necessary. Later, they retracted by saying the cut needs to be examined for vein damage.

At 10 p.m., he was taken to the operation theater without an x-ray. Officials told his parents that he was fine and would be discharged the following day.

When Hardik’s father, Ashish Jena, insisted on seeing his son, the hospital staff declined. “They didn’t give me any time period about how long the anesthesia will keep Hardik unconscious,” he told India Samvad. As his conditions worsened, Hardik was put on a ventilator. “I kept asking for my son’s health but there was no one to answer. They kept asking me to wait,” his father said.

Shortly after this, a plastic surgeon named Dr. Srikanth informed Ashish that he could see him. When Hardik was unresponsive, the doctors assured him that he was simply under anesthesia and would gain consciousness within two hours.

At 11:30 p.m., a puzzled Ashish called friends and family members. The following morning, Hardik’s principal and teachers came to visit him and consulted the hospital staff.

When the doctor arrived at 11:45 p.m. to check up on Hardik, within a matter of minutes, the nine-year-old was pronounced dead.

Once Ashish received the death certificate, he was shocked to see that the initial post-mortem reports suggested that Hardik died of cardiac arrest due to anesthesia overdose. The certificate also read the time of death as 12:13 p.m.

Angry and upset, he filed a report with Rajendra Nagar police station against the hospital staff and anesthesiologist Dr. Pasha and plastic surgeon Dr. Srikanth for medical negligence.

How infuriating that a private hospital like Olive, which claims to be one of the best hospitals in Hyderabad, could cost a child’s life at the expense of a minor cut and poor medical aid?

On Saturday, February 13, a justice walk was organized in Hyderabad to bring light to the issue and to commemorate Hardik’s passing.

The Facebook page description said: “Our heart goes out to Haridik’s parents and the little angel who passed away. We hope you are watching us from above and smiling. We miss you Hardik and this world is missing you.”