SHAH ALAM: Fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim suffered injuries from blunt trauma to his chest, but an assault is "less likely" than other causes such as a crush or a fall from height.
This was said by the 13th witness called for the inquest into the death of the 24-year-old fireman at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Thursday (Feb 21).
Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr S. Anand, who treated Muhammad Adib when he was brought to Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) in the early morning of Nov 27 last year, said he noticed that the fireman did not have injuries on other areas except his chest.
Under questioning by Zhafran Rahim Hamzah, who is on the three-member team from the Attorney General's Chambers, Dr Anand said CT scans on the upper parts of Muhammad Adib were normal apart from his chest area.
According to Dr Anand, Muhammad Adib's injuries to the chest area were caused by blunt trauma.
Zhafran: What could be the cause (for the blunt trauma)?
Dr Anand: There are various mechanisms that could lead to this injury, a crush, fall from a height, rapid acceleration and deceleration, or assault.
Zhafran: Is it possible to distinguish between assault and other causes (of blunt trauma)?
Dr Anand: It's hard to. But I find it (Muhammad Adib's injuries) somewhat unusual (for it to be an assault). Injuries sustained were confined to the chest; in an assault one would expect other injuries such as self-defence wounds. It is somewhat unusual to have major trauma that is confined to one section. It's not impossible (for it to be from being assaulted) but less likely.
He told the inquest that Muhammad Adib had lung contusion, which meant that his lung was bruised; pneumothorax, where the space between his chest wall and lung was filled with air; and multiple rib fractures.
He said that as Muhammad Adib stabilised, the team of specialists at SJMC felt that the fireman needed to be put on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine that was not available at the hospital.
The specialists at SJMC made the decision to transfer the fireman to the National Heart Institute (IJN), as the ECMO machine was available there, he added.
Judge Rofiah Mohamad sits as coroner for the inquest on the eighth day of the inquest.
Muhammad Adib was critically injured when he and his team mates from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency at the Seafield Sri Maha Marimman temple during the riots last November.
He was taken to SJMC before being transferred to IJN for further treatment.
He passed away on Dec 17 at 9.41pm at IJN.