Swine flu, H1N1, viral, influenza,

A suspected H1N1 patient died after three hospitals denied admission in Kerala's Kottayam district on Wednesday. The hospitals, including the Government Medical College, refused to admit 62-year-old Jacob Thomas saying that they didn't have a ventilator.

When Jacob's symptoms became severe, his family first took him to Kottayam's Government Medical College by the ambulance but he was not admitted by the hospital staff since there was no ventilator available, reports The News Minute. Reny, Jacob's daughter, added that the doctors also refused to take a look at him.

"We then took him to the Caritas Hospital, which also refused to admit him. We then took him to the Matha Hospital. There also, he was not admitted. As we were left with no option, we sought help from the Kottayam Hospital again. But no one attended my father. He died lying in the ambulance," the family told media.

Dr Renjin, the Regional Medical Officer, refuted the allegations and told The Times of India that by the time the doctors came out to examine the patient, the ambulance had already left at 2:40 am.

He said, "From the CCTV visuals we have found that the ambulance came to the MCH at around 2.23pm. The relatives requested for ventilator facility. They also met the PRO of the hospital asking for the availability of the ventilator. However, there were no ventilators available at that time and the PRO informed them."

KK Shailaja, Kerala's health minister, said that while these were the hospital's claims, if there was any discrepancy, a detailed probe will be carried out.

"On primary enquiry, it was found that the patient was not admitted in the hospital as there was no ventilator free for him. On knowing this, the family took him to another hospital. This is what the hospital authorities have said, but if there is a contradiction in this from what the family of the deceased is saying, a detailed probe will be conducted," the minister told media in Kochi on Wednesday."