TAKING SUO MOTU cognizance of the death of a 23-year-old engineering student at Sion hospital, the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has directed the JJ hospital to set up a panel to probe what led to his death.
During a hearing on August 18, the commission also pulled up doctors of Sion hospital for not providing the family of Tejas Khare his postmortem examination report for the last three months, while stating that it is “violation of human rights”. MSHRC member M A Sayeed noted that while the BMC-run hospital initially alleged that Tejas had died due to heart attack, in subsequent hearings, it blamed kidney failure as a cause of death.
Tejas was admitted to Sion hospital on May 24 with fever, cough and loose motions. A report submitted by Sion hospital dean in-charge Dr Jayshree Mondkar (accessed by The Indian Express) states that medical examination had indicated Tejas needed to be admitted to Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) but the hospital MICU ward had no vacancy. He was subsequently transferred to general ward 5. Tejas passed away on May 26.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tejas’ father Sanjay Khare said: “There have been five hearings so far. At the fourth hearing, doctors said my son suffered a heart failure. In the last hearing, they said he had organ failure. We have still not been told what caused his death. Opinion for final cause of death has been reserved.”
The report submitted by the Sion hospital stated that on May 25, when the patient was re-evaluated, he was found conscious and oriented and neither had fever nor was vomiting. It added that urine and stool investigations as well as his liver and kidney functions were normal.
On May 26 afternoon, his condition suddenly worsened. Tejas complained of chest discomfort. While 2D echo test results were normal, his ECG showed variations. Within two hours he started vomiting blood. “Till then, he was kept in ward 5… he required intensive treatment but doctors did not pay attention,” Sanjay said.
By evening when his condition worsened, the hospital vacated a bed in MICU by shifting a dialysis patient. Tejas passed away later in the day. “He is my only son. His first-year engineering results came 10 days later, in which he scored 70 per cent marks. His birthday was only days away,” Sanjay said.
The commission is now inquiring whether the five doctors — Dr Iravati Waghmare, assistant professor Dr Lalna Kalekar, Dr Deep Gala, and Dr Kamlesh Tayade and Dr Shrikant Madge from MICU — were negligent in treating Tejas.
While the family claims Tejas was left unattended, in its report, Sion hospital has claimed that a doctor evaluated him “at all important junctures”. It stated that on May 26, Tejas started experiencing chest pain at 11 am, and vomited blood by 2 pm. As per medical records, he was shifted to MICU six hours later the same day. He was also put on oseltamivir treatment, generally given for H1N1 influenza. However, medical records only state that he had viral infection.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled on September 26, during which JJ hospital is expected to submit its findings.