70-year-old is believed to have fallen through window of building under renovation. Subramani, who was a resident of Kasipuram, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening with head injuries after he met with a road accident in Kasimedu.

Renovation work carried out without adequate safety measures claimed the life of a 70-year-old in-patient at the Government Stanley Hospital on Thursday.

Hospital authorities said K. Subramani was found dead on the ground in front of the new surgical block. Subramani, who was a resident of Kasipuram in Kasimedu in north Chennai, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening with head injuries after he met with a road accident in Kasimedu.

Doctors at the hospital said he had suffered medical complications due to a right temporal contusion with pneumocephalus, and was recovering from his injuries though he could only move with the help of a hospital attendant.

“The patient was on the path of recovery,” dean of the hospital, S. Geethalakshmi, said.

On Thursday, after the on-duty nurse P. Rajamohana administered an injection to Subramani at 5.30 a.m., Subramani had gone to the toilet, a few metres away from the ward in the neurological department on the fifth floor of the block where he was admitted.

As none of the glass windows in the new surgical block had steel grills, Subramani might have slipped through an open glass window in the visitors’ waiting hall on the floor while looking through, sources said.

“The height at which the glass windows are placed is low, around two-feet. It is risky for anyone looking through these windows, as most of them are broken,” said a police officer attached to the Stanley Hospital police who are investigating the case.

Ranganath Jothi, professor and head of the department of neurosurgery of the hospital, along with P. Darwin, deputy superintendent of the hospital, submitted a status report on the incident to Dr. Geethalakshmi.  

Currently, the new surgical block that was built in 1975 is being renovated by the Public Works Department at a cost of Rs. 91.4 lakh.

The work, which was started in December last year, includes the installation of grills in all the windows in the block, replacement of existing sewer and water pipelines and refurbishing of toilets and painting of the building.

The eight-storey building comprises two floors for surgeries and a third floor for post-surgery patients. The remaining floors are for in-patients with complaints including cardiological and neurological ones.

Each floor, on an average, has at least 54 open glass windows and eight toilets and houses at least 80 in-patients.

Though the hospital has specified visiting hours, the block gets visitors round-the-clock, with most of them being woman and children.

“This could have happened to anybody. Before undertaking such massive renovation work, adequate safety measures, at least for the patients, should have been in place. The area under renovation should have been restricted,” said another police officer.

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