In Mumbai at Sion hospital a 45 year old man who certified as “dead” started breathing when the body was taken to the mortuary on a stretcher, where it was kept near the lift in the lobby. This is not the first time, In 2008, a newborn baby girl was mistakenly pronounced dead by doctors at Sion hospital.
According to the reports the Sion police received a call about a citizen lying unconscious at the ST bus depot at Sulochna Shetty Marg and Eight policemen took Prakash, the homeless man, to Sion Hospital also known as Lokmanya Tilak General (LTG) Hospital. The Chief Medical Officer Dr Rohan Rohekar was on duty at the time and he immediately declared the man dead after checking his pulse. The doctor also did not wait for the mandatory two-hour cooling off period, when a patient is kept under observation for last signs of life. However, Rohekar allegedly told hospital staffers and cops to take the body to the morgue immediately.
“The dead body was covered with a white cloth and the doctor made an entry about the death in the casualty ward diary and a death intimation report was prepared,” the police officer said. The body was taken to the mortuary on a stretcher, where it was kept near the lift in the lobby. From there, the body was to be taken to the first floor for the post-mortem. But just as morgue staffers Subhash and Surender were about to take the body upstairs, they received a shock: “The dead man was breathing. We saw his stomach moving up and down,” said Subhash.
The man was immediately shifted to the medical ICU, where he is recuperating. Dean Dr Suleman Merchant said, “He developed a metabolic disorder with severe electrolyte deficiency and malnutrition due to starvation. His condition is now stable. Often patients with drug and alcohol addiction can go into a state of suspended animation, neither medically dead nor alive.”
Merchant said, “The CMO checked the patient for the pulse, respiration and heart sound. All vitals were absent. His pupils were fixed and dilated, which could have perplexed the doctor.”
Around this time, cops from the Sion police station arrived at the hospital to carry out a panchnama of the body and register an Accidental Death Report. “When we reached the post-mortem centre, we were shocked to learn that the dead person was alive and had been sent for treatment,” said an officer.
“Senior Police Inspector Yeshudas Gorde came to the hospital, but the doctors did not let him in and they refused to show us the diary entry about the death. The doctor did not even tell where he had dumped the records he had torn out,” said another cop.
SPI Gorde said, “It is a serious case of negligence by the doctor. We were shocked to find patient was alive after he had been declared dead. We have written to the dean of Sion Hospital, asking him to conduct an inquiry and give us the report. Once the report is out, we can take action. The hospital authorities should take action against the person responsible for this incident.”
The police believe it’s a case of medical negligence and are yet to confirm the patient identification.