A 32-year-old man died on Saturday evening at Nair hospital in a freaky and gross case of negligence — trapped under an MRI machine and accidentally inhaling an excessive amount of liquid oxygen. The police registered a case against three people — Dr Saurabh Lanjrekar, 24, ward boy Vitthal Chavan, 35, and maid Sunita Surve — on Sunday and arrested them.
The deceased, Rajesh Maru, who was a salesman in a garment shop, was at the hospital with his brother-in-law Harish Solanki whose mother Laxmi, 65, was undergoing treatment there. The duo was taking her for an MRI when the incident happened. Rajesh’s father Galal Maru told mid-day, “Harish and Rajesh were wheeling Laxmi on a stretcher to the MRI room. When they reached outside it, they were asked to remove their gold ornaments and other metal items they had on them. A ward boy asked my son to hold Laxmi’s oxygen cylinder and go inside. Rajesh even asked him then if the machine was on, but the staffer merely said this was their daily work and not to worry. “The minute he stepped inside, the machine pulled him. His hand holding the cylinder got trapped in it, leading to the cylinder’s flow meter breaking and the oxygen leaking, directly onto his face. Harish and the ward boy started to try and free him, and succeeded only after his left ring finger broke. But by the time they took him into the emergency ward, he was dead.”
“We want justice, not compensation. The hospital staff’s negligence killed my son,” added Galal. The Hindu Meghwal community, which Rajesh belongs to, has demanded that the state, in addition to compensation, give a government job to one of his family members.
Sawlaram Agawane, senior inspector at Agripada police station, said, “As of now, we have booked three people, but we have told the hospital authorities to give us the list of guidelines regarding the MRI room and treatment and who was responsible for what in that section. If we find that there was negligence by more people, we’ll book them too.” According to the police, the cause of death is “bilateral pneumo thorax due to subcutaneous emphysema”. Rajesh’s blood samples have been sent to the forensic lab in Kalina. The three accused, who were arrested under section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, have secured bail on surety bonds.