Srinagar, Nov 8: At least five deaths have taken place due to the swine flu at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura here this year.

Sources said that among the victims, three belonged to Budgam and one each from other two districts of central Kashmir, Srinagar and Ganderbal respectively.

The latest victim of swine flu is a warden of Government Women Polytechnic College Bemina Srinagar. According to her family, she was suffering from acute cold and cough and was subsequently taken to SKIMS Medical College JVC where doctors asked her to undergo some tests but sent her home.

Next day, said her family, she underwent some tests and the JVC Hospital authorities referred her to Soura where she died. The family and college authorities have accused SKIMS doctors of negligence and blamed them for her death.

In a Facebook post, the Polytechnic College principal Shafkat Ara wrote: “Destiny or Negligence. All is not good with our health care. SKIMS, being the premier name in the state’s medical world, has a lot to defend when it comes to the recent case of a demise of our College’s Warden.

“The College Warden was suffering from acute cold and cough and went to SKIMS in JVC. The patient was prescribed to undergo several tests, which she did go through. At the end of the day, the patient was referred to SKIMS by JVC with suspected swine flu where she was asked to go home and come the next day for some tests. The next day, the Warden went to Soura where she couldn’t recover and died the same day.”

“Is it the negligence of the doctors at JVC or Soura? If the patient was suffering from Swine flu, why was she not referred to Soura instantly, why was she sent home from Soura? Why was no level of emergency shown by the doctors who handled the case? The patient died in Soura the other day. Discharge death certificate carries cardio pulmonary arrest,Septic shock, Ards??as cause of death. If it was the case of swine flu, why do the authorities at Soura hush up the details? Doesn’t the family have the right to know the cause of death of their beloved family member?

Was our warden destined to die or was it mismanagement or Negligence.We need to introspect,” she wrote, seeking answers from SKIMS authorities. Medical superintendent SKIMS Dr Syed Amin Tabish confirmed the deaths. He however said they were suffering from other diseases and H1N1 influenza.

“One among the patients was suffering from blood cancer. Another had intestine cut for treatment for cancer and there are other diseases and the H1N1 influenza adds to cause of deaths,” he told news agency GNS. He however denied charges of deceased warden’s family and college authorities.

He also confirmed that five patients are presently under treatment and “all of them are stable.”

He said that it was imperative that the patient with severe symptoms report immediately to good hospital where facilities for treatment are available.

“There should not be delay. Normally there is tendency among patients and family members let us visit hospital tomorrow or day after tomorrow but they should immediately report to nearest good hospital,” he said.

He said that cautions are required. Those having season flu are better advised to stay home and take rest, he said.

“They should take lot of fluids. Take proper rest and have adequate sleep. They should avoid crowds. But those who have severe symptoms must immediately report to the good hospital. Those with minor symptoms are not required to visit hospital but take caution,” he said.

He said that people are also advised to take vaccine in September and October. “Those who have not taken it can do so in November particularly high risk patients like children below five years of age, pregnant women, elderly, people above 65 years of age, those suffering from chronic diseases,” he said. (GNS)