On the 24th of last month, MDO, a 20 year old young man was searching for some thing in his house late in the night, when he was bitten by a krait on his hand. As is the prevalent practice, his relatives summoned a local faith-healer who assured them that everything was alright.
However, as time passed, the father realised that something was amiss. MDO was not able to breathe properly and was looking very sleepy.
NJH, being very near to his home and one of his cousins being a chowkidar in the hospital – the family rushed MDO to NJH.
On arrival at NJH, Dr Johnson attended the call. MDO was hardly breathening and was bluish all over. There was no response to stimuli and his pupils were mid-dilated and hardly reacting. MDO was intubated and was put on the mechanical ventilator. The relatives were explained about the very small chance of survival. It was about 1:00 am of 25th August.
Meanwhile, our chowkidar, Mr. Jamuna who was MDO’s cousin told us about the RSBY Smartcard (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana) the family had. It was brought immediately and was promptly blocked for treatment of snake bite.
It was only recently we were having a discussion of snake bites being covered under RSBY as there was a major increase in costs of Anti-Snake Venom (ASV).
Since, we were yet to come to a conclusion on the increase in ASV costs, we decided to treat him fully under RSBY.
By the 25th morning, when I came for rounds, MDO’s pupils were fully dilated and fixed. There was no reaction till about 26th afternoon.
He was in the ventilator for 80 hours. And intubated for 104 hours. 120 hours of Acute Care admission. . . 30 B-type oxygen cylinders . . . 20 ASVs - the cost of which alone is 13000 INR
MDO is getting discharged today. The problem was that his total bill had come to a whopping 45000 INR and RSBY was going to pay us 10500 INR.
|MDO with his father|
We’re not sure on how to approach this. The family is ready to pay us 7500 INR more. But, as per RSBY policy we are supposed to be giving cashless service. I’ve sent a mail to our Insurance Providers explaining about our predicament. I hope that they would respond positively.
The interesting part is that we have 3 more patients in the ward with krait bite. And all of us are in some part of their ventilatory support . . . I’m glad that we have 2 ventilators . . . But still, we’ve to refuse all patients who could end up needing a ventilator since yesterday . . . eclampsias, snake bites, severe pneumonias etc . . .
The recent increase in cost of ASV make it quite difficult to treat snake bite victims under any protocol of snake bite management under RSBY. I hope that the concerned authorities would take note and do the needful . . .
(Consent to publish the photograph and the story has been obtained)