Teen suffers cardiac arrest during surgery in B'luru hospital, kin say docs negligent

Doctors now say that while 19-year-old Jamina is out of her coma and is showing signs of improvement, she will not return to her normal state.
Teen suffers cardiac arrest during surgery in B'luru hospital, kin say docs negligent
Teen suffers cardiac arrest during surgery in B'luru hospital, kin say docs negligent

The family of a 19-year-old girl from West Bengal admitted in St John’s Hospital in Bengaluru claim that she has gone into a vegetative state due to the carelessness of her doctors.

Jamina Khatun was admitted to St Johns in May with an ear infection, which had persisted for years. Her brother, Akhtar Ali Khan, stated that doctors advised surgery, which was scheduled for May 30.

“She was taken for the surgery on May 30. A short time after she was shifted out of the ward, and taken to the operation theatre, the doctors called us and told us that she had had a heart attack and that she was taken to the ICU,” Akhtar Ali Khan tells TNM.

According to a press statement released by St John’s Hospital, Jamina had been administered anaesthesia in the operation theatre, but suffered a cardiac arrest prior to the start of the surgery itself. After she was resuscitated, she was shifted to the ICU, and the surgery was cancelled as she could not be operated upon in that state.

She slipped into a coma, but doctors say she is now conscious.

“Her vitals are stable and she is now off the ventilator. She is dependent on a tracheostomy tube to breathe at the moment, and will require many months of rehabilitation to improve, but given that she suffered severe hypoxia-related brain damage, it is unlikely that she will return to her previous normal state,” Dr Sanjiv Lewin, Chief of Medical Services at St John’s Hospital said.

He added that a 19-year-old experiencing a heart attack is extremely rare and that the doctors hypothesise that her condition resulted from ‘an unusual reaction to anaesthesia medications, or a rare but possible acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), or a rare air embolism from the mastoid bone or a rare underlying, undetected cardiac disorder.’

Jamina’s brother alleges that he was made to pay in advance for the surgery and that no improvement in her condition has been seen in the 30-plus days she has been in the ICU.

“They earlier said that she would be ok in a matter of a few days, but now they are saying that she will not return to normal,” he adds.

“The patient was taken up for surgery only after undergoing all necessary pre-anaesthetic clearances and there was no indication for us to suspect any underlying problem,” Dr Sanjiv said. “Given the current situation and the family’s financial position, we have waived the fees and are tending to her.”

Ali reportedly registered a complaint with the Koramangala police, claiming that there was negligence on part of the doctors, though no FIR has been filed yet.


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