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BMC to probe death of Mumbai youth sucked by MRI machine

Rajesh Maru had carried a prohibited metallic oxygen cylinder inside the Magnetic Resonance Imaging room

Mumbai: The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation on Monday announced a probe into the circumstances leading to the death of a Mumbai youth who was sucked into an MRI machine of a civic-run hospital on Saturday.

Taking serious cognisance of the matter, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said the probe would be headed by an officer of the rank of Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC).

The incident which left the city’s medical community shaken will be probed with possibility of reviewing the existing guidelines for civic hospitals and making them more stringent.

The chilling incident happened on Saturday evening when Rajesh Maru, 32, was sucked inside the MRI machine at the BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central.

Accompanied by his mother-in-law Laxmi Solanki, 62, he had carried a prohibited metallic oxygen cylinder inside the Magnetic Resonance Imaging room, allegedly on the advice of a ward boy.

The cylinder activated the powerful magnetic fields of the MRI machine which pulled Maru at full force and the cylinder got ruptured, releasing gas, which complicated matters.

Maru, who was brought out swollen and bleeding from the impact of the hit on the MRI machine, died few minutes later.

He was the sole breadwinner of his family living in Lalbaug area of central Mumbai.

Moving swiftly, the police arrested three persons on Sunday — doctor Saurabh Lanjrekar, ward boy Vitthal Chavan and female ward attendant Sunit Survey.

The Maru and Solanki family cried foul and accused the medicos, the hospital and the BMC of gross negligence.

“A ward boy asked him to help by carrying an oxygen cylinder with him to the MRI room — which is strictly prohibited,” said Maru’s brother-in-law, Harish Solanki.

Charging the hospital administration and doctors of “carelessness”, Solanki said there were no security personnel to warn Maru that he should not carry the oxygen cylinder with him to MRI room.

“As soon as he stepped inside the room, the MRI machine literally sucked him in due to the magnetic force since he was carrying the oxygen cylinder with him,” he added.

The MRI is a sophisticated test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and with the aid of a computer, shows detailed pictures from inside a patient’s body, but unlike traditional X-rays or CT Scans, doesn’t use radiation.

The ward boy ostensibly ignored the stringent guidelines that bar all metallic objects — including such cylinders, items of jewellery or even metallic fibres and implanted metallic medical devices — inside the scanning room.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced an ex gratia of Rs500,000 to Maru’s family.

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