Mulund hospital fire: 'The hospital is solely responsible for my father's death,' son blames negligence

Updated: 14 October, 2020 07:24 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

Family of man who died due to lack of oxygen after a fire in a Mulund hospital says negligence cost the 54-year-old his life

Suraj Singh with his father Virendra. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
Suraj Singh with his father Virendra. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

In the aftermath of the chaos caused by the power failure and the fire at Apex Hospital's generator that led to several patients being shifted on Monday, a 54-year-old COVID-19 patient died at Fortis Hospital early on Tuesday. His son, Suraj Singh, has blamed Apex Hospital for the death, saying that his father had been recovering well.

The deceased, Virendra Singh, 54, a resident of Haryana had come to meet Suraj and got infected by COVID-19. He was admitted to Apex Hospital on October 5. After the hospital's generator caught fire on Monday, Singh was shifted to Fortis Hospital, but was untraceable for several hours.

His son, Suraj Singh, told mid-day, "I visited Apex Hospital at 4 pm on Monday to check on my father and doctors told me that he was doing well. Around 5.30 pm, the fire in the generator led to all patients being shifted to another hospital. I got this information only at 8 pm and rushed to Apex Hospital. The hospital told me that the list of all patients' will be prepared only at 11 pm. When the list finally came, it did not have my father's name. I also checked Fortis Hospital but my father was not there either."

Virendra Singh; (right) the generator of Apex Hospital in Mulund that caught fire
Virendra Singh; (right) the generator of Apex Hospital in Mulund that caught fire

'Hospital got name wrong'

"The Apex Hospital's list got my father's name wrong, it was recorded as Yashwardhan Singh. At 4.30 am, I got a call from Fortis Hospital saying he has been admitted there and is on ventilator support since he did not get oxygen and there was a delay in treatment. In the next 30 minutes, my father's organs failed and he died sometime later," Suraj said.

"My father's death certificate says that his pulse rate was low. My father's health had improved but amid the fire and the shifting, he did not get oxygen. Apex Hospital is responsible for my father's death," Suraj said.

Suraj also said that Dr Hardik Thakkar had been monitoring Singh at Apex Hospital daily and giving updates. "Due to COVID, his lungs had been infected. The doctor had prescribed Remdesivir injection for him. His sugar, blood pressure and other reports were normal," Suraj said.

While Apex Hospital refused to comment on the incident, Fortis Hospital was unavailable for comment.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, who visited Apex Hospital on Tuesday, said, "There's chaos at the hospital; 39 patients were shifted to eight different hospitals. Of these, 12 critical patients were admitted to Fortis Hospital. Of them, two died and two are serious and eight are critical."

"Other hospitals where patients have been sent are too costly, they can't afford the bills. The BMC should take their responsibility," Somaiya added.

The 70-year-old patient who died on his way to Fortis Hospital on Monday has been identified as Pandurang Kulkarni.

Also read: Mumbai power failure: COVID-19 patients left gasping for oxygen

8pm
Time Suraj Singh got to know of the fire in the generator and his father's shifting

Same name brings mourners to recovered man

The recovered Pandurang Kulkarni (right) with BJP leader Kirit Somaiya
The recovered Pandurang Kulkarni (right) with BJP leader Kirit Somaiya

Another COVID-19 patient, Pandurang Kulkarni, was admitted to the Apex Hospital sometime back. After the death of the 70-year-old Pandurang Kulkarni at Apex Hospital on Monday, relatives and friends rushed to the recovered Kulkarni's place, thinking he is the one who died. Kulkarni told mid-day, "I received many calls and messages after the news of 'my death'. I recovered 50 days ago and am alive."

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First Published: 14 October, 2020 07:20 IST

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