MRI death: Negligence costs BMC Rs 56 lakh, family waits for the severed finger

Feb 10, 2018, 08:35 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

The metal coil damaged in the accident is an expensive component; wait for patients will only get longer due to red tape

Nair Hospital

It's going to cost BMC Rs 56 lakh to repair the MRI machine at Nair hospital that killed 32-year-old Lalbaug resident Rajesh Maru. The estimated budget will be submitted during the next Standing Committee meeting of the civic body for approval. And as the civic body takes its own sweet time in the matter, Maru's family members, who still haven't got back his severed finger, now sent to the forensic lab in Kalina, are planning to write to the health ministry for help.

Rajesh Maru died in Nair hospital's MRI room a couple of weeks ago. File pics
Rajesh Maru died in Nair hospital's MRI room a couple of weeks ago. File pics

Nearly two weeks after Maru died, on being sucked into the MRI machine, inspection teams have finally given an estimated cost for the repairs. This is after two expert teams - one of head of the radiology department of major hospitals and the other of manufacturer Philips - checked the machine.

A costly affair
"We will submit it in BMC's next standing committee meeting for approval. The damage to the MRI machine is severe; so, it will require time to restart it," said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean. The cylinder that hit the machine has left a deep dent on its outer covering, called gantry, and there's also damage to the machine's metallic coil, which is steeply priced. The cost of an MRI machine of the configuration that is used at Nair hospital is around Rs4-5 crore.

Rajesh Maru died at Nair hospital on January 27
Rajesh Maru died at Nair hospital on January 27

"In an MRI machine, six to seven types of coils are used to scan different parts of the body. Each coil costs more than R6 lakh. So, just replacing these coils will cost over Rs 30 lakh. Also, if they want to replace the whole gantry of the machine, it will come up to Rs 7 lakh," said a senior radiologist from the BMC health department.

Finger struggle continues
And as patients continue to wait for a scan, so do Maru's family members. Their wait, however, is for his severed finger, which was stuck in the machine and has now been sent to the forensic lab, last Saturday after panchnama.

mid-day was the first to highlight the plight of the family members, who even after repeated pleas to hospital authorities for the finger, to cremate it as per rituals, have got no relief. They are now planning to write to the health ministry for help.

"No one told us it would take so long for the hospital to retrieve the finger, and now, they have sent it for forensic analysis. For nearly a week, the finger was lying in the closed MRI room. I wonder what condition it is in and when we'll get it back," said Maru's brother-in-law Harish Solanki. Also, the family members still haven't heard from state authorities on their demand for a compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

"On Saturday, my mother's last rites will be over. After that, we are planning to write to the ministry, seeking justice. They can't delay the process like this. It is about the peace of a soul... they have taken it for granted. Why did they take more than a week for the panchnama of the finger?" questioned Solanki.

Rs 6 lakh
Cost of one metallic coil

Rs 30 lakh
Approximate cost likely to be incurred over the multiple metallic coils needed

Rs 7 lakh
Cost to replace the machine's gantry

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