Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 Delhi girl gang rape case: Did shifting the victim to Singapore hasten her death? Health experts feel that shifting of a critically ill patient is not medically advisable and the medical complications the girl had developed midair during the transit proves their argument

Very Bad Medical Idea


By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Did shifting the Delhi gang rape victim to
Singapore hasten her death? Health experts feel that shifting of a
critically ill patient is not medically advisable and the medical
complications the girl had developed midair during the transit proves
their argument.

City doctors also feel that Hyderabad has the medical expertise and
hospital infrastructure to deal with severely critical patients. There
was no medically valid reason for the shifting of the girl for organ
transplant, which she did not require at that moment. They say
critical care management demands that critically ill patients should
not be shifted for medical facilities that were not needed at the
moment.

“A bad medical case is bad anywhere in the world, whether in India,
the USA or Singapore. The girl should not have been shifted till her
condition stabilized. India has expert medical doctors and even a
government-run hospital like Safdarjung, where the girl was initially
admitted, had dealt with severely critical cases in the past with
success,” says internal medicine expert Dr Aftab Ahmed.

Many hospitals in leading countries including Mount Elizabeth Hospital
in Singapore, where the girl died while undergoing treatment, have a
considerable number of Indian doctors on their rolls.

Infectious diseases expert Dr Suneetha Narreddy argues that a
critically ill patient should not be shifted from one hospital to
another for an additional care that would require at a later stage. If
the girl was shifted for organ transplant, it was not a good decision
as the primary task was to keep her alive. She should have been
shifted to Singapore when she really required organ transplant.

Dr AK Purohit, head of the department of neurology, NIMS, says India
has all the facility and medical expertise and there was no medically
valid reason to shift the girl to Singapore. “Patients from around the
world take treatment in India and Indian doctors head several major
hospital departments in the world,” he adds.

Dr AGK Gokhale, chief cardiothoracic, transplant and minimal access
surgeon, Yashoda Hospital, says, "It was a sensitive issue. I think
the government's decision to move her out of the country was more of a
face-saving measure. I do not think anyone anywhere in the world could
have done anything for her. And she needed an intestinal transplant,
which is not done in our country. Everyone knew her situation was bad
but the government did what it best could. But at the same time it
shows where we stand."

Experts argue that shifting of a critically ill patient would only
result in more trauma. The patient would feel trouble during the
transport. This is what exactly happened in the case of the Delhi girl.

City doctors also feel that the girl should have been admitted to
AIIMS or some corporate hospital in Delhi instead of treating her in a
government hospital. It is an insult to India and Indian doctors’
expertise. If the government feels India does not have proper medical
facilities, it is high time it created them.

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