Drunk and Drive, Hospital Responsibility, Sonika Chauhan and Vikram Chatterjee

Drunk and drive is one of the causes of road traffic accidents. Individuals who suffer trauma are a young generation who are in productive age. Consequences would be permanent disability or death. After midnight we commonly see youngster racing their vehicles endangering not only self but also others who are on road. Drinking alcohol above permissible levels reduces judgement and also can lead to rash driving. In spite of the strict rules, we have seen how a top Bollywood star got acquitted from supreme court recently. Law seems to be different for different people. Big and powerful can get away but a common man may become the scapegoat.
Hospitals have some responsibility in treating a patient who comes with trauma. Most hospitals do welcome that.
This article is about, how news media is wrongly trying to frame hospital in the Sonika and Vikram case. This they do, just for proving their point and get more TRP without any evidence.

A couple of days ago I was watching a debate on Times now, it was about Sonika Chauhan a model turned actor’s death in car accident. This happened when Vikram Chatterjee also an actor was driving the car around 3.30am. In this debate, anchors were alleging that hospital was involved in covering up accused Vikram Chatterjee.

In this article, I am not batting for Mr Chatterjee or for TMC. This article is about whether the hospital had any role in covering up Mr Chatterjee if at all he was drunk.

Below are points from Times-now channels, for alleging hospital involvement in covering the accused Mr Chatterjee.
1. Hospital distance from the accident spot.
2. Sonika Chauhan died 1 hour after reaching the hospital.
3. Blood alcohol level examination of Vikram Chatterjee.

Hospital distance from the accident spot.

The accident happened at a spot three and a half kilometres away from the hospital, although there were reputed hospitals nearer, still the accused Mr Chatterjee took Sonika Chauhan in OLA cab to the alleged hospital. Hence, Times alleged hospital role in covering Mr Chatterjee.

Apparently for layman above allegation sounds logical, but if one sees at the behavior of our patients, there is no weight-age in this allegation. It is very commonly seen, patients travel bigger distances even in the case of emergencies, although there were facilities for treatment available at the nearby place.

This mistake patients do, because attendees of patients do not understand the gravity of the situation in initial stages, they may underestimate the situation. Their belief in particular hospital or doctor and road situation and acquaintance of transporter, drives the patient to the hospital.

The very fact that OLA cab, not hospital ambulance was used for transporting the deceased, clearly suggests, the hospital had no role in shifting.

Sonika Chauhan died 1 hour after reaching the hospital.

There was confusion regarding the death of Sonika on arrival at the emergency ward. A police officer earlier had told she was not alive on reaching the hospital but, hospital authorities said they did CPR for one hour and after that, they declared her dead.

CPR is done immediately after stopping of the heart, sometimes doctors do give a try of CPR for a patient with stopped heart with a couple of minutes back. So, this cannot be allegation on the hospital.

Blood alcohol level examination of Vikram Chatterjee.

Mr. Vikram Chatterjee was hardly injured in this car accident. He had small wound over his head. He was treated on OPD   basis not admitted initially. This suggests that he was not intoxicated to call for blood alcohol examination. Blood alcohol examination in an emergency ward is not a routine test. It is done in only extraordinary cases. This test does not help in treating the patient who is well oriented.

Mr. Vikram Chatterjee gets admitted after 2 to 3 hours as he was not feeling well. This could be because he became upset with the death of Sonika or media fear, but this in no way points to the intoxication of Mr. Vikram Chatterjee.

Times-Now anchor has taken interview of a doctor from that hospital, where in doctor never commits about blood alcohol examination. He keeps saying all relevant information is shared with police. Doctors do not have any legal binding to give reports to media. We all know how media edits the video clips for its advantage.


The media always tries to prove their narrative by picking a soft target and hospitals are easy to pick up for that.

Author: Dr Umesh Bilagi

MBBS, MD, DM (cardiology). I am Interventional cardiologist. Blogging is my passion. Associate professor of cardiology KIMS Hubli. Director and consultant at Tatwadarsha Hospital Hubli. Owner of Jeevan Jyoti Hospital Hubli. Mobile +91 9343403620.

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