Decomposed body at hospital mortuary kicks up a row

While the relatives of the deceased blamed the hospital authorities, the latter claimed a technical snag caused the freezer to malfunction and insisted that it was an isolated incident. 

Published: 12th July 2019 06:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2019 06:49 AM   |  A+A-

The mortuary block of Government Taluk Hospital, Varkala  B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The District Medical Officer has sought an explanation from Varkala Government Taluk Hospital authorities with regard to a case in which a body kept at the hospital mortuary was found in a decomposed state. 

While the relatives of the deceased blamed the hospital authorities, the latter claimed a technical snag caused the freezer to malfunction and insisted that it was an isolated incident. 

The body of Pallickal native Somarajan Nair was moved to the freezer after a post-mortem examination on Sunday. When the relatives went to collect the body the next day, they found it in a bloated state. They staged a protest in front of the hospital. 

According to hospital superintendent in charge Dr Vipin J P, one of the fans inside the freezer was not working. “The freezer was installed in December 2003. There had been issues with its wiring which were resolved. No other issues were detected after that,” said a source.

According to a hospital source, the person in charge of the mortuary might have trusted the indicators. “He might have left the body inside without ensuring the freezer was functioning. The incident could have been avoided if the freezer was checked," he said.

According to the source, the equipment is 15 years' old and no agency would take up the annual maintenance work. District Medical Officer Dr Preetha P P has asked for an explanation from the superintendent. 

Varkala MLA V Joy, who visited the hospital, told Express, “The incident has occurred as the freezer is old.  We have directed the hospital authorities to submit an explanation." There are also plans to set up a new freezer.

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