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India hospital where man died in MR accident seeks new machine

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
The hospital where an MR machine accident took the life of a man when he was crushed by an errant oxygen tank wants a new, second machine.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which has authority over the hospital, had approved money to repair the old machine, which the hospital is also planning to repair, less than a month earlier.

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Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party group leader in the BMC, has questioned the twin expenditures, according to the Mumbai Mirror. “The current MR machine was brought to the hospital in 2008. We were told that any MR machine’s life expectancy is not more than 10 years, that’s why Nair is buying a new MR machine for around Rs 8 crore ($1,164,240). Then what is the point in repairing the old machine at a cost of Rs 1.5 ($218,295) crore?”

A crore is 10 million rupees.

On January 27, Rajesh Maru perished from injuries he received when he was sucked into the hospital's old machine while he held an oxygen cylinder.

The accident led to the machine's closing. It has remained closed ever since.

The hospital needs both the repair and the new purchase, according to dean of Nair Hospital, Dr. Ramesh Bharmal. “We have already requested a new, advanced MR machine for Nair Hospital but the tendering process and other formalities will take some time, maybe more than a year. Meanwhile, we have to get this machine repaired,” he told the Mirror.

In January there was a new arrest in the Maru case.

The arrest came from findings, according to BMC officials, that the metal detector of the unit was not functioning when Maru was pinned by the tank.

The detector on the door was intended to prevent people from taking metal objects into the room, a BMC official advised at the time.

Maru had gone into the room with an elderly relative who needed a scan and was on oxygen. The family claimed that hospital staff had “insisted” that the dead man bring in the relative's oxygen tank. But according to hospital staff, CCTV footage that recorded the accident showed that staffers had not been involved in bringing the metal cylinder into the danger zone.

“It’s clearly seen that Maru voluntarily carried the cylinder inside the room. But it is obvious that poor staff members will be made scapegoats,” a hospital administrative officer told the Times at the time.

Three staffers had been arrested earlier on charges of negligence, Dr. Saurabh Lanjekar, ward boy Vitthal Chavan, and attendant Sunita Surve. They are now out on bail.
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