'Dead' Indian man in Mumbai ‘wakes up’ moments before post-mortem

Police were convinced he was dead

Hospital staff said: 'The dead man was breathing, we saw his stomach moving up and down'
Hospital staff said: 'The dead man was breathing, we saw his stomach moving up and down'

An Indian man pronounced dead by doctors woke up moments before his post-mortem was due to begin.

The man, thought to be in his late 40s, was found unconscious by police at a bus stop and taken to Sion Hospital in Mumbai, where the man was pronounced dead after his pulse was checked.

Police told Mid-Day that the body was covered with a white cloth while the doctor made a report about the death in the casualty ward diary.

After a person is pronounced dead, their body is kept on the casualty ward for two hours in what is known as a ‘cooling-off’ period.

However the casualty ward was full and the man was sent straight to the morgue, the Hindustan Times reports, where he is understood to have been kept before being taken up to be autopsied.

“The dead man was breathing. We saw his stomach moving up and down,” a hospital staffer who had taken the man up to his post-mortem told Mid-Day.

The news site claimed the doctor then destroyed all records of the man’s death, while police requested a report into the incident.

But the hospital’s dean, Sulman Merchant, told the Hindustan Times the hospital doctor had been pressured by police to certify the man as dead.

Dead man wakes up in morgue

“The patient was on a stretcher and his face and ear were infested with maggots, usually seen in decomposed bodies,” adding that the man’s pulse and heartbeat were absent and was showing fixed dilated pupils, which is “common in patients who are close to death”.

This could have led to the incorrect declaration of death, Merchant said, while also claiming that the doctor was “intimidated” by the police presence. “The police kept telling the doctor the patient was dead and insisted he certify him urgently.”

The man is said to be recuperating in intensive care and the hospital is deciding on protocol to ensure this does not happen in the future.

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