From an MRI to an X-Ray, most tests we need to have performed turn out to be harmless. There are always an instances, however, when those routine procedures — practiced by doctors and staff day in and day out — can become fatal.
One of the most surprising reasons for those mishaps, it seems, is due to negligence. Sometimes hospital staff becomes numb to the dangers that often lie in the details.
Rajesh Maruti Maru was accompanying his sister’s mother-in-law for an MRI test at BYL Nair Municipal Hospital in Mumbai on Saturday night when he was instructed by staff to take the oxygen tank with him inside the testing room.
According to reports from family members, no guard tried stopping them from entering the room with the tank. They also stated that no one ever checked to see if the machine was actually turned on.
It was moments later when staff asked Maru to help position the patient on the table. However, that’s when things took a turn for the worse, as Maru unknowingly got too close to the machine.
“The ward boy asked him to help,” said Maru’s sister, Priyanka Solanki, who was also in the testing room with her brother when the tragic event unfolded.
The negligent mishap caused Maru to be pulled into the MRI scanner along with the oxygen tank he was carrying. He reportedly became trapped inside the machine as the oxygen cylinder quickly leaked around him.
“He went close to the machine and instead got pulled along with the oxygen cylinder inside the machine,” Solanki added.
Maru was quickly taken to the emergency section of the hospital, where he was declared dead due to excessive oxygen inhalation.
Yet, instead of taking the blame for what the family and police are deeming negligent behavior, the hospital pinned the outcome back on the grieving family.
“Instead of taking responsibility, the hospital workers scolded us for Rajesh having gone close to the MRI machine with the cylinder in his hand,” Solanki said.
However, authorities have arrested Dr. Saurabh Lanjekar, ward-boy Vitthal Chavan, and an assistant Sunita Surve, who were present at the time and described as causing “death by negligence.”
In most cases, when a patient is taken for an MRI, they are told to remove jewelry and any other metallic items that could possibly be attracted by a magnetic charge.
“We usually have to call in the company technician if anything gets sucked into the MRI machine, the impact is such,” said Jignesh Thaker, general secretary of Indian Radiological & Imaging Association. “It is not easy to pull anything out immediately.”
The incident is among many where hospital staff has routinely asked patients and/or family to assist ward staff. And Maru’s family — among others who have highlighted the common issue — are now calling for change.
“No one gave us instructions,” said Maru’s sister. “How will we know what to do?”
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