Kottayam: A 50-year-old heart patient choked to death before his wife and son at the Medical College Hospital (MCH) here allegedly after an empty oxygen cylinder was provided to him after he complained of breathlessness.
The deceased is Shajimon of Payippad in Changanassery in Kottayam district. He died at the second ward of the MCH early on Thursday morning.
His relatives said that the hospital staff had informed them that the cylinder was empty.
Shajimon was admitted to the hospital recently due to acute wheezing.
The patients at the ward are supplied oxygen through pipes. As Shajimon's condition deteriorated by 5.30 am on Thursday, the doctors instructed to take him to the intensive care unit at the third floor of the hospital. And a stretcher fitted with an oxygen cylinder was brought to the ward. Shajimon was shifted to the stretcher and the oxygen mask was fitted on to his face. Even before he was taken out of the ward, Shajimon showed signs of uneasiness.
Unable to breathe, Shajimon died even as his wife Vasanthi, son Mithun and other relatives looked on, the kin alleged.
Shajimon's relatives and hospital staff then got into an altercation. The relatives plan to file a complaint with the Health Department, seeking a probe into his death.
However, Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Dr R P Ranjin said that he has not received any complaint about providing an empty oxygen cylinder. The RMO further said that there was no problem in the oxygen supply to the wards.
Shajimon's funeral would be held at the IPC Church cemetery around 4 pm on Friday.
His other children are Vidya and Veena.