Ward boy’s error costs comatose man his life | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Ward boy’s error costs comatose man his life

In a bizarre mix-up at the civic-run Sion Hospital, a ward boy mistook an unconscious patient for another one who had died and started preparing to take him to the mortuary.

mumbai Updated: May 06, 2010 01:30 IST
Neha Bhayana

In a bizarre mix-up at the civic-run Sion Hospital, a ward boy mistook an unconscious patient for another one who had died and started preparing to take him to the mortuary.

The ward boy had even put cotton swabs in Mahadev Uppar’s nostrils, before he realised the mistake.

Uppar died around 30 minutes after the incident — around 3.30 am on Wednesday.

His relatives filed a police complaint and the hospital has initiated an inquiry into the matter.

Uppar (43) was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit with acute liver damage on Monday. The Vashi resident was moved to the male general ward on Tuesday.

When Motiram Shelar, the patient on cot number 11 — next to Uppar’s cot — died at 11.30 pm on Tuesday, the nurse called a ward boy and asked him to take the body to the morgue.

“The nurse went out for tea after making the call. When the ward boy arrived, he thought that Mahadev was the dead patient,” alleged Uppar’s relative, Rajesh Gaikwad.

He added that the ward boy, whose identity is not known, immediately started preparing to take Uppar to the mortuary without noticing the patient on cot 11.

“He told Mahadev’s brother Shivraj to help undress him. Shivraj thought that some treatment must be required so he did the needful and left. The ward body drew the curtain around Mahadev, removed the saline drip and put cotton swabs in his nostrils, ears and mouth. As he started wrapping him in a sheet, the ward boy noticed Uppar gasp. He got scared and fled,” said Gaikwad.

When Shivraj and others around realised what was happening, they started screaming in the ward.

“No doctor or nurse was present when all this happened. The nurses rushed in after the ward boy ran and they apologised to the family. It was only when the administrative medical officer intervened that doctors put him back on saline. But Mahadev died 30 minutes later,” said Gaikwad.

The relatives alleged that the ward boy was drunk.

Sion Hospital’s dean Dr Sandhya Kamath admitted that Uppar was alive when the ward boy reached his side but refused to comment further.

“We are conducting an inquiry into the allegations. All I know is that the patient was alive but in a very critical condition. He was in hepatic coma (unconscious),” she said.

“We are recording the family’s statements and are awaiting the post-mortem report,” said Senior Police Inspector Tulsiram Nagre of the Sion police station.