A 72-year-old man, who had accompanied his ailing wife to Parel’s KEM Hospital on Tuesday, was found dead in a toilet in the hospital’s out-patient department (OPD) on Wednesday morning.
The post-mortem report said Dattatrey Kamble, a former government employee, died of internal bleeding in his skull on Tuesday evening, probably before the OPD was locked. The hospital staff had not checked the toilets before locking up after work hours, leaving Kamble stranded in the toilet for more than 12 hours.
While Kamble’s family alleged that he died because of the hospital staff’s negligence, Dr Avinash Supe, dean of the hospital, said the post-mortem report indicated that Kamble may have already been dead before the OPD was shut for the day.
“The post-mortem report says that the time of death must have been between 4pm and 6pm. He must have collapsed suddenly because of internal bleeding in his skull,” said Supe.
Sunil, Kamble’s son, said his parents had traveled to the hospital from their home at Curry Road at 8.30am on Tuesday, with his mother Sunanda’s blood and urine test reports. They were to consult a doctor who was treating her for kidney disease.
According to Sunil, around 4pm, his parents were waiting at the hospital’s medical store when Kamble told his wife he needed to use the bathroom. He did not return for a while, but Sunanda assumed that he had returned home. But when she did not find him there either, she called their children.
“We searched the hospital but couldn’t find him anywhere. We also tried to call his mobile phone, but couldn’t get through as there the mobile network is poor near the OPD,” said Sunil. “The ward boy did not check if anyone was in the toilets,” he added.
The Bhoiwada police have registered a case of accidental death but are looking into whether it was caused by negligence on the part of the hospital staff.
An police official, who did not wish to be named, said, “As there was a long queue (at the medicine counter) he went to the toilet on the first floor. Later in the evening the ward boys locked the ward’s main door from outside.”
With inputs from Sagar Rajput