Police negligence stalls Thane medico-legal case
Almost a year after Kalyan resident Heena Khan, suffered a life threatening reaction to a drug, no progress has been made in the probe into her case. Worse, the Bazar Peth police, which is investigating this case, had misplaced reports from the Kalina forensic lab and KEM Hospital for four months. The case had been filed against private physicians who allegedly prescribed the drug. The reports of the skin and blood samples have now been sent to the Thane Civil Hospital.
On November 22, Heena, a homemaker and mother of two, had gone to the local physician to get medicines for a cough and cold. According to Heena’s statement, Dr Satish Bhoite (MD and MBBS) wasn’t available at the moment. His wife Usha (BMS) checked Khan and prescribed her Mox 250, a penicillin family antibiotic. However, moments later, Heena developed blisters all over her body. Eventually, she started losing layers of her skin. The cornea of her left eye melted due to the reaction. Heena was rushed to Saifee Hospital, where the doctors diagnosed her with Stevens Johnson or or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS), a rare disorder of skin and mucous membranes, triggered by an extreme reaction to medication. She was discharged after 34 days in the ICU.
The police collected her skin and blood samples and sent them to JJ Hospital. When the hospital responded to the police that they do not check skin samples, the samples were routed to the Kalina Forensic Laboratory and KEM Hospital.
While both sentinel centres sent their respective reports to the police in July, the reports were misplaced by the police station only to be found in October.
DS Suryavanshi, senior police inspector from Bazar Peth police station, said, “The report was addressed to the investigating officer in English due to which there was a confusion. It went to another officer along with some other reports. But we found it later and have submitted it to Thane Civil Hospital. As soon as we get the medical experts go ahead, we will file the case.”
Speaking with SUNDAY mid-day, Mustaqeem said he has been juggling between her treatment, domestic duties and following up the case.
Heena remains bedridden, her skin and eyes need constant care and she can’t step out in the sun. Mustaqeem said, “I’ve been visiting the police every two weeks. It’s been a year. Our lives have completely changed but there hasn’t been any action. Heena has grown irritable. We are still trying to pay off the loans since the treatment cost us more than R7 lakhs.”