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Man lay dead in hospital toilet for 36 hours
File photo: Mark Wagner

Man lay dead in hospital toilet for 36 hours

Published: 15 Jan 2013 10:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Jan 2013 10:26 GMT+01:00

A family has been left outraged after a father of two was found dead in a French hospital toilet 36 hours after he suffered a fatal stroke.

According to reports the man, named as Jean Marcel Labbé, 56, visited the Villeneuve-Saint-Georges Hospital, in the Val de Marne region to the south of Paris, just before 10am on January 4th to undergo a chest x-ray.

When he walked into the hospital he went straight to the disabled toilet where he is believed to have suffered a ruptured aneurysm, causing his sudden death.

His body was not found until 10pm the following day.

His sister Marie Labbé described the circumstances around her brother’s death as “sordid”, terrible” and “unbearable”.

“We will never know if he could have been saved,” she told French daily Le Parisien. “But what disgusts me is that no one seems to have noticed that the door of the toilet was locked for all that time.”

When he did not return home the family became increasingly worried about his whereabouts. When a family member phoned the hospital just after midday they were told Labbé did not have an appointment that day.

“I want answers from everyone – the cleaning staff, who did not do their job, the security officers and the directors of the hospital. It is not normal that this kind of incident can happen,” Marie Labbé told Europe1 radio.

“This should never happen again,” she said.

The director of the hospital Didier Hoeltgen has denied there were any medical errors surrounding Labbé’s death.

“There was confusion. People thought the toilet was occupied or out of order. Around 3,000 people come to the hospital each day. We cannot keep a check on all the toilets,” Hoeltgen told Le Parisien.

The director has, however, ordered an internal investigation to try to determine how Labbé remained undiscovered for so long.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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