Mumbai: Ceiling slab collapses on patient at Cooper Hospital

The 29-year-old, who was in the Juhu hospital for a surgery, suffered head injuries and is under observation; the slab collapsed in a building which is part of a Rs 321-cr complex inaugurated barely a year-and-a-half ago

In the hospital for a surgery, a 29-year-old man got the shock of his life when a large chunk of the ceiling fell on him on Saturday evening.

The new complex was inaugurated in November 2013
The new complex was inaugurated in November 2013. File pic

What’s worse, the incident took place in a building that is part of the new complex at Juhu’s civic-run Cooper Hospital, which is barely a year-and-a-half old and was constructed at a cost of Rs 321 crore.

Hospital sources said the patient was admitted to the surgical ward of the hospital and he was talking to some of his relatives in the waiting room located just outside the ward around 7 pm on Saturday. “Suddenly, a large portion of the ceiling fell on the patient’s head, who collapsed on the floor and got injured,” an official said.

The patient was moved back into the ward and attended to by the doctors on duty. “He has suffered some head injuries and we have kept him under observation,” said Dr S S Gawde, the hospital superintendent. The administration is trying to find out the reason for the collapse and they are also repairing the portion that got damaged.

Problems galore
The new complex of Cooper Hospital, consisting of two buildings, was inaugurated in November 2013 and is meant to be a super speciality facility for the patients. “The six-storey building where the slab collapse took place has been constructed to accommodate a medical college, which is badly needed in the western suburbs,” a senior doctor explained.

The slab collapse is also not the first problem that has cropped up in the new complex, raising serious questions about the quality of construction and the electrical equipment that has been used in the buildings.

Sources said that malfunctioning electrical equipment had resulted in the main operation theatre being closed twice last week. “We had been noticing that there were power fluctuations in the hospital building, which was especially risky in the operation theatre, where surgeries take place throughout the day,” a surgeon said. Hence, the OT had to be kept shut on two occasions — on March 23 and 25 — so that the electrical equipment could be repaired.

Dr Gawde confirmed that there was a problem with some electrical equipment and hence the OT had to be shut for some time. “But the system has been repaired now and the OT is functioning regularly,” he claimed, adding that the surgeries that had been kept on hold during the period are also being carried out.

With the new complex, the hospital now has 636 beds, which caters to an estimated 8 lakh patients every year.

Failed inspection

The incident has come at a bad time for Cooper Hospital, which is readying itself for a second round of inspection by the Medical Council of India next week, after several deficiencies were pointed out during the first inspection in December 2014 .

Sources said that the MCI team had pointed out that there were no facilities for the purpose of teaching of medical students. “Though there is high patient flow to the hospital, there have to be facilities like the lecture halls, audio-visual aids and demonstration rooms for medical students, which have not been provided in the present setup,” sources said.

For the purpose of having a medical college, these teaching facilities are extremely important and this has been communicated to the municipal administration. Commenting on this, Dr Gawde said that the inspection is an ongoing process and that they are making all efforts to meet the requirements of the medical council.

8 lakh The approximate number of patients that Cooper Hospital caters to every year

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