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Hospital rejects allegations

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‘Former CM did not require an immediate angiogram’

Apollo Hospitals on Saturday responded to the petition filed by the Arumughaswamy Commission’s standing counsel Mohd. Jafarullah Khan saying it “strongly rejects” all allegations made against the organisation. It outright condemned allegations of conspiracy and collusion with regard to the inappropriate treatment of the former Chief Minister.

“It is surprising that the Commission is itself filing this petition against other parties who have been earlier issued 8-B notices. Proceedings before the Commission of Inquiry are not adversarial nor can they be accusatory in nature,” said a statement by S.M. Mohan Kumar, Manager-Legal at Apollo Hospitals.

The statement said that former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa did not require an “immediate angiogram.” “This is established by the multiple depositions of specialists including AIIMS cardiologists, pulmonologists and intensive care specialists and medical records produced before the Commission. Even on 03.12.2016 when the AIIMS doctors including Dr. Nitish Nayak, the cardiologist, visited the late CM they have submitted a report stating there was no necessity or any kind of cardiac investigation or intervention,” said Apollo.

The hospital also rejected the claim made by Mr. Khan that three external doctors had suggested that an angiogram be performed. It asked why the Commission was not considering the evidence submitted before it by Apollo, that only one doctor had recommended an angiogram.

“It was only a single external doctor who on 25.11.2016 visited the late Chief Minister for a few minutes and suggested immediate angiogram without going into all the other co-morbidities including her compromised respiratory condition, which could have potentially inhibited the desired outcome. Apollo’s team of doctors including the cardiologist and Dr. Richard Beale did not think it wise to rush into an angiogram based on this one medical opinion from a doctor who wanted to perform the procedure and leave immediately out of the country with no commitment to her follow-up care,” said the statement.

‘False claim’

The hospital said Mr. Khan’s claim that CPR had not been performed for 15 minutes while doing sternotomy was false: “The Commission wrongly recorded seconds as minutes. Right then Dr. Madan Kumar corrected the Commission and clarified it was not minutes but seconds. However, the correction was not carried out. Dr. Madan Kumar refused to sign the deposition, but the Commission would not delete this incorrect sentence. In the next sentence in the deposition, Dr. Madan Kumar clarified that it was only seconds. This was recorded. Yet in the Petition only the incorrect sentence is being projected.”

The hospital said it had followed all international protocols while performing CPR and placing Jayalalithaa on the ECMO device: “Serious allegations are being cast on the doctor and hospital by an incorrect recording and non-appreciation and understanding of medical evidence produced by the hospital. We strongly emphasise that this is completely prejudicial to the doctor and hospital.”

The hospital also pointed out that a team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences had validated the hospital’s treatment. Reiterating the hospital’s charge that translation of medical terminology into Tamil had been flawed, the statement added that much context of medical process had been lost in the process. “This petition only strengthens our case for the immediate appointment of a Medical Board that will understand the complexities of the late CM’s treatment. Why has the Commission not constituted a Medical Board qualified enough to examine the complexities of the late Chief Minister’s health condition during 75 days of hospitalisation?” said the statement.

It reiterated its call for a Medical Board, made via a December 28 petition to the Commission. “Without this, no finding of the Commission will be complete or based on medical science. The Supreme court has repeatedly held that a judge cannot substitute a medical specialist’s opinion with his own,” it added.

The hospital said that 16 of its doctors have been called to depose before the Commission next week. Apollo Hospital doctors stand by the medical treatment they provided the late Chief Minister and emphasise they followed internationally recognised treatment protocols and standard of care appropriate to her medical condition.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 12:05:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hospital-rejects-allegations/article25862142.ece

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