Guidelines sought on handling flu victim's body

Hospitals refusing to risk conducting post-mortem


Begum breathed her last at Bangalore Baptist Hospital on Saturday. Her body was shifted to M S Ramaiah Hospital for post mortem later in the day.

 According to doctors at M S Ramaiah Hospital, Shamshad's post-mortem was scheduled for Sunday morning. However, when the results from Nimhans came out as positive late on Saturday, the hospital decided not to go ahead with it.

Dr Harish S, Head of Department of Forensic Medicine, stated that as the Nimhans report confirmed her death, post mortem was not required. However, he stressed that the government should issue certain guidelines on the precautionary measures the forensic team should take while conducting post-mortem on H1N1 victims.

“The government should look into two aspects. First, there should be a guideline on the precautionary measures to be taken while conducting post mortem on such cases. This is because it will not only put the forensic staff on risk but also the entire community. Secondly, there should be some instructions on the safe disposal of such bodies,” he said.

He added that in some communities funerals go on for hours.

As a result, the relatives of the deceased would also be exposed to H1N1 virus.
Clarifying on the procedure to cremate infected bodies, Dr Cheluvaraj, Joint Director, Communicable Diseases, said the victim’s family will be instructed to take precautionary measures.

“We had instructed Roopa’s (the first H1N1 victim in the State) family to take preventive measures while cremating the body,” he said.

Family furious
According to sources Shamshad Begum’s family was furious when they received a bill amounting to around Rs 46,000 from Bangalore Baptist Hospital.
The family members had an argument with the hospital authorities and shifted her body to M S Ramaiah Hospital.

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