A 48-year-old patient at the Group of Tuberculosis (TB) Hospitals, Sewri, strangled himself to death with the pipe of his oxygen mask on Friday. The patient, doctors said, was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday with breathlessness caused by the TB infection. This is the third time he had been brought to the hospital.
According to the hospital’s records, the Dahisar resident had been undergoing treatment for tuberculosis since 2013. “Both his lungs were severely affected, which left him breathless. He had been on oxygen support since his admission,” said a doctor from the hospital.
Officials said that on Friday morning, the deceased went to the washroom inside ward number seven, where he was admitted, and killed himself.
The doctors were yet to check whether the deceased had developed drug-resistant TB.
The patient had not been regular with his treatment, Nanavre said.
The patient had been brought to the hospital by a friend who did not visit him later, said Dr R Nanavre, the hospital’s medical superintendent.
Since 2008, over 900 TB patients admitted to the hospital were abandoned to die there.
Many of these abandoned patients need counselling to cope with the loneliness and the disease, but the hospital has a poorly staffed psychiatric ward. Three of the five posts for psychiatrists lie vacant at the hospital, said officials. There are over 1200 patients admitted to the hospital at any given time.
In May, Manoj Pakhre, 30, of Bhandup, slit his throat with a blade in the hospital. Pakhre had been under treatment for drug-resistant TB. In an earlier instance, a woman patient jumped to her death in the elevator shaft at the hospital.