A 59-year-old man suffering from paralysis underwent a 19-hour ordeal after he slipped and fell in to a toilet at a hospital in Nashik, northwest Maharashtra, India, getting his left leg stuck in the commode at 1am on Saturday. Hospital authorities summoned the fire brigade and civil engineers to dismantle the concrete toilet structure and remove his leg from the stainless steel commode at around 6pm. Civil surgeon Suresh Jagdale said Samadhan Shripad Wankhede of Jalgaon was undergoing treatment in the hospital for the past month.
"He went to the toilet at around 1 am. Since he was unable to walk properly because of paralytic right leg, he lost balance, fell and got his left leg stuck in the commode."
Jagdale said although the patient had raised an alarm for help, the staff on duty did not come up with any help at the time. He added that when the hospital authorities came to know about the incident at around 5am the entire machinery at the health hub was pressed into rescue.
"The emergency department tried to rescue him, but in vain. Engineers were summoned for help. But they also failed to do anything. Finally, the fire brigade had to be informed," the civil surgeon said.
Admitting to the negligence on part of the medical staffers, Jagdale said there has been a lapse on part of the hospital and action would be taken against those found responsible. "Ideally, a medical attendant should accompany such patients. But it seems that the patient did not seek assistance and went to the toilet on his own," he added.
Chief fire officer Anil Mahajan said eleven officials were involved in the rescue operation and the entire toilet had to be dug up with the help of a drilling machine. "The patient's leg was stuck deep and could not be removed. The stainless steel commode had to be cut and its central part was broken. The bottom part of the commode was surrounded by a concrete. It had to be broken to remove the remaining structure," he said.
Mahajan said the toilet was in a barely one square metre space, which made the rescue operation difficult. "It had to be ensured that the traumatised patient was in a comfortable position. He was made to move during the procedures, ensure that his leg is active and was not hurt because of the continuous drilling and hammering of the space around him. Regular doses of glucose water and tea and clothes were provided to him because his leg was stuck for several hours," he added.
The officer said local anaesthesia had to be administered on the patient in the final leg of the operation before the commode was removed. "The patient was then carried to the operation theatre, where the remaining piece of the commode was cut through," he added.