A tragedy was averted on Tuesday as the swap of two dead bodies at MGM Hospital in Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, was realised in time. The Alibaug- based family was about to step out of their home for the last rite of a 60-year-old man when they received a call from a Panvel family that the body was exchanged with a 65-year-old man at the mortuary in MGM Hospital in Kamothe.
Both the families rectified the mistakes immediately and carried out the exchange of bodies and performed the last rights as per their respective rituals.
Ram Patil, 65, a resident of Dahivali village in Panvel taluka, was admitted to MGM Hospital around 4 to 5 days ago with some ailments. However, he died on September 26 night. The body was then kept in the mortuary for the night.
Meanwhile, Ramakant Patil, 60, a resident of Pezari village in Alibag Taluka was brought on September 26 night to MGM Hospital in Kamothe in a critical condition. However, he died soon after he was admitted. He was also kept in the mortuary till the next morning.
Prakash Mhatre, a relative and also neighbour of the Alibaug family said that the family brought the body home around 7.30 am to 8 am on September 27 from the hospital.
“They were about to leave home for the last rite around 9 am when they received a call from a family from Dahivali village in Panvel taluka that bodies of two old men were exchanged at the mortuary. They also sent photos. The goof-up of both, the hospital administration and the family was rectified at the last moment,” said Mhatre. He added that the ambulance that brought the body was called back and took the body to the hospital for exchange.
Similarly, Dashrath Govande, a resident of Somante village and relative of Ram Patil, said that they were shocked that the body handed over at the mortuary was another person.
“We alerted the mortuary official and they realised the mistake. The mistake took place due to the initial ‘R’ of both names of the deceased,” said Govande.
On the condition of anonymity, a staff member from the obituary said the goof-up happened and it was rectified immediately.
When FPJ contacted Dr (Lt Gen) KR Salgotra, medical superintendent at MGM Hospital, he said that he was not aware of what had happened and he would check it.