Family alleges that she died of anaesthesia overdose

A 31-year-old woman from Denkenikote near Hosur, who had come to the State-run Victoria Hospital for an ear surgery, died in the operation theatre on Thursday morning.

Asha’s husband Devaraj, who had accompanied her, alleged that his wife died of anaesthesia overdose. “My wife was fine except for an earache till she went inside the operation theatre at 8.30 a.m. The doctor came out after an hour and asked us if she had epilepsy. When I said no, he went back and returned to inform us about her death. How can this happen?”

He has now filed a complaint of negligence with the Victoria Hospital police. But the latter have registered the case as mysterious death under Section 174 C of IPC.

Asha’s family claimed they were not allowed to see her body even till late evening. Her niece, Jamuna, said: “Asha dropped her 11-year-old son at school in the morning before coming to the hospital. Soon after administering the injection, the doctor came and asked if she had any [pre-existing] medical condition as she had fits. After a while, we were informed of her death.”

‘Heart attack’

However, Victoria Hospital medical superintendent G. Gurushankar said the patient had suffered a heart attack after being administered a pre-anaesthesia injection. “She suffered a heart attack even before she was given local anaesthesia for the surgery.”

A committee has been set up to investigate the death. “The report should be ready within three days by which time the post-mortem report will also come. We will take action against the doctor if he is found to be negligent,” Dr. Gurushankar said.

Mr. Devaraj said his wife had been consulting the ENT specialist, R.K. Dutta, at Victoria Hospital for the last one month. “When we came last month, she was prescribed some medicines and asked to come back if the pain did not subside. When we came yesterday, the doctor said she should undergo surgery and fixed it for Thursday.”

Though the hospital charged Rs. 5,000, he could only afford to pay Rs. 4,000, but did not receive a receipt.

‘No history’

Asha’s mother Sarojamma said her daughter had no medical ailments that could trigger a heart attack. No one had the heart to tell her grandson, who had returned from school, about his mother’s death. This death comes close on the heels of a three-year-old who lost his life after doctors at a clinic in HSR Layout allegedly administered an overdose of anaesthesia for a supposed root canal procedure on February 6.

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