Chandigarh: A 30-year-old woman patient who had come for tooth extraction collapsed sitting on a dental chair, moments before she had to undergo the procedure at Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital here in Chandigarh. The institute is part of the Punjab University premises in Sector 25. Sources said she had just undergone anaesthesia when she felt uneasy and breathless and died moments later.
The victim has been identified as Shrimati a resident of SAS Nagar. Notably, this is the sixth death in the last about one month in Chandigarh where a patient has mysteriously died with no medical condition immediately after the patient underwent anaesthesia.
Earlier, five patients died on a single day in the first week of September, before they were to undergo surgery at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research PGIMER, Chandigarh. The five victims had come for orthopaedic and neurosurgical procedures and the only common link to all the five deaths was the administering of Propofol injection, the doctors at PGI had found out.
After that incident, the doctors sounded an alert to Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation CDSCO on the use of Propofol injection, the anaesthetic drug administered before major surgery. Following the complaint by the PGI doctors, a CDSCO team came to collect the samples and the same have been sent to Central Drugs Laboratory Kolkata. The batch of drugs which probably caused deaths have been stopped for any further supply, the health officials have said.
Though, it is not clear which anaesthetic drug was used on the patient who died yesterday, Dr Suman Singh, the Director of Health Services, Chandigarh has said, “Only after the post-mortem is carried out will we be able to ascertain the cause of death. Before that, it is premature to speculate anything.” Sources said, there is a strong suspicion that the anaesthetic drug was the reason for the cause of the patient’s death.
The Dental College through the official spokesperson has clarified that prima facie it seems to be a case of acute pulmonary edema and the death has been caused by cardiopulmonary arrest. Famous pop singer Michael Jackson also died of a large dose of Propofol after his personal physician gave him the drug to put insomniac Jackson to sleep and left him unattended.
Then prosecution built a strong case against Jackson’s personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, for leaving him unattended which led to the pop star’s death.