Doctors suspect extensive damage to bone marrow

The condition of all six persons exposed to radioactive material at a scrap market in the Capital's Mayapuri area continued to be highly critical on Saturday with doctors suspecting extensive damage to their bone marrow, making them severely susceptible to infections.

Deepak Jain, who is admitted to Indraprashtha Apollo Hospital, is reported to be “very critical” and his treatment is being managed in consultation with senior Bhabha Atomic Research Centre officials.

“Deepak is being treated for severe burns and his bone marrow is significantly suppressed. His condition is being closely monitored by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors,'' said a statement issued by the hospital.

Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia on Saturday suggested and made arrangements for Deepak to be transferred to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences to make available to him the bone marrow treatment facility at the Institute. However, doctors at Apollo Hospital maintained that the patient was being attended well at the hospital.

“Deepak's body had turned black after he worked with the radioactive scrap. He lost time in having failed to identify the symptoms and take precautionary measures,'' said Dr. Kiran Walia.

“We had advised that Deepak be shifted to AIIMS for treatment as his condition is very critical but his relatives want him to continue treatment at Apollo Hospital. They fear that he might not be able to withstand the transfer. Also, doctors at the hospital have assured that all efforts are being made to ensure that he gets proper treatment. We are also constantly monitoring the condition of the other five patients admitted to AIIMS, two of whom are very critical with their platelet count having taken a downward slide,'' said Dr. Walia.

The Minister made two visits to AIIMS on Saturday to take stock of the treatment plan and condition of the patients. Doctors at AIIMS said the condition of all five patients admitted there continues to be serious, with the condition of two of them having deteriorated significantly during the past 24 hours.

“The patients are still being investigated and tests are being conducted to ascertain the exact amount of damage to their body. Two of the patients are very critical with their blood platelet count having dropped significantly. We are also foreseeing a need for bone marrow transplants for some of the patients, but confirmation will come in a day or two after we get the test results,” said a doctor at AIIMS.

No clue yet

The police here are yet to ascertain the origin of the metal scrap containing radioactive cobalt-60 isotope that exposed at least six persons to radiation injuries.

The police are waiting to record the statement of the scrap shop owner, Deepak Jain, who is admitted to Apollo Hospital in a serious condition, to find out the origin of the scrap consignment.

They are also questioning other scrap dealers in Mayapuri to identify the places from where they get metal scrap.

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