Man wakes up in mortuary more than 15 hours after hospital pronounced him dead
- 24-year-old man from central Kenya was rushed to hospital
- He had drunk insecticide in an apparent suicide attempt
- Pronounced dead, he was taken to the morgue to be embalmed
- The anti-poison drugs may have made him appear to have died
- Hospital is investigating how the mistake could have happened
Staff in a Kenyan morgue were shocked when a man who had been pronounced dead regained consciousness and began calling for help.
Hospital authorities have launched an investigation into why Paul Mutora, 24, was declared dead and
his body taken to a morgue for embalming.
He had been rushed to the hospital in a critical condition after drinking insecticide in an apparent suicide attempt following an argument with his father.
On Thursday afternoon two mortuary attendants heard noises coming from a side room and when they found the man breathing, they ‘took to their heals screaming,’ a witness told Kenya’s Star newspaper.
Mr Mutora, a married father-of-one from the town of Limuru, had been taken 30 miles to Naivasha District Hospital, 55 miles north-east of Nairobi.
On Wednesday his condition deteriorated and he was pronounced dead at around 11pm and taken to the morgue.
Mr Mutora’s father and other relatives visited his body at the morgue on Thursday morning and returned home to start making arrangements for his funeral.
After his shock recovery, Mr Mutora was taken back to the hospital’s male ward and medics say he is now out of danger.
Hospital superintendent Dr Joseph Mburu told television network KTN Kenya that the anti-poison drugs given to Mr Mutora upon arrival at the hospital may have wrongly given the impression he had died.
He said: ‘The effect of atropines can be sometimes to slowing of heart rate and most of the time it causes dilation of the pupils. ‘These two observations are used to make a conclusion that someone has lost their life,’ he said. A groggy Mr Mutora said: ‘This was a mistake from the start.
‘I apologise to my father as I prepare to go and take care of my wife and child.’
Several family members blamed the hospital for being careless. Dr Mburu said the hospital was investigating how the wrong diagnosis had occurred.
He told KTN ‘the person who was working in that ward seems not to have understood the effect of some of the drugs which I used’ to treat Mr Mutora’s poisoning.
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