Maru was attending to an elderly relative who had come for an MRI scan to the hospital.
Mumbai: In a freak accident, a man got sucked into a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and died at Mumbai’s civic-run Nair Hospital on Saturday night.
In a case of alleged medical negligence, the incident occurred minutes after Rajesh Shyamji Maru (32) walked into the room carrying an oxygen cylinder, even though metal objects are not allowed inside MRI-testing rooms because of the magnetic field it creates when operational.
The family alleged that it was a case of negligence on the part of the hospital staff as a ward boy attached to the MRI section had allegedly asked them to carry the oxygen cylinder inside, assuring that it was safe as the machine was switched off, only it wasn’t.
Maru died as he had inhaled excess oxygen after the cylinder’s knob accidentally opened even as his body got sucked inside the MRI machine. Maru was attending to an elderly relative who had come for an MRI scan to the hospital.
The Agripada police has filed a case under section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and arrested three hospital staff members, including the ward boy.
DCP Virendra Mishra of Zone 3 said, “An FIR was registered against the hospital and they have arrested the doctor, Saurabh Lanjekar (24), ward boy Vitthal Chavan (35) and ward attendant Sunita Surve under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC.” The hospital authorities have also handed over the CCTV footage of the incident to the police. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnvis announced a compensation of `5 lakhs for the family of the victim.
When asked about alleged negligence on the part of the hospital’s staff, that resulted in the oxygen cylinder being allowed inside the MRI room, Nair Hospital Dean Dr Ramesh Bharmal said, “It’s a sad and tragic accident. The police are investigating the case.” He added, “In the process of shifting the patient from a regular stretcher to the MRI stretcher, there was no place meant for the oxygen cylinder. Accidentally, the oxygen cylinder also went inside along with the person and he died.”
Maru was a resident of Lalbaug and the sole bread earner of his family. He had gone to the hospital to visit his sister’s mother-in-law Laxmiben Solanki ( 62), who was ailing with fever. Maru, who worked as a salesman, was helping Solanki get inside the MRI room, when a ward boy asked him to take her oxygen cylinder inside.
Talking to The Asian Age, the deceased’s uncle Jaysingh Maru said, “This is total negligence by the hospital. No one was present, neither in the ward nor with the patient.” Jaysingh said, “As the ailing Laxmiben was on oxygen, the technician-cum-ward boy present inside the MRI ward, stated that he should carry the oxygen cylinder inside the MRI scan room due to which Maru died.”
He also said, “As Maru entered the MRI room, the machine sucked him in due to the magnetic force as he had oxygen cylinder with him. His relatives and other ward boys came there after hearing the sound and pulled him out.” He also mentioned that Maru was rushed to the emergency ward as he was bleeding copiously, but he died there. No hospital authority has approached us accepting their mistake.”
The victim’s kin insisted that the autopsy should be done at the state-run J.J hospital. The autopsy report stated that, Maru death was unnatural and due to bilateral pneumothorax, an abnormal collection of air between the lungs and the chest wall, and subcutaneous emphysema, the pleural membranes are punctured, as occurs in penetrating trauma of the chest, which caused him to choke to death.
Past MRI mishaps
Nov. 12, 2014: Two employees of Tata Memorial Hospital suffered serious injuries after one of them entered the MRI room carrying a gas cylinder. The duo was stuck to the MRI machine for four hours.
Jun. 3, 2017: A MRI machine at Lohiya Hospital pulls UP minister Satyadev Pachauri’s security guard’s pistol after he entered the room. The machine was damaged and stopped working.