Thiruvananthapuram: Murugan, the 37-year-old Tirunelveli native who died on August 7 last year of injuries from a motorcycle accident at Chathannoor, was brain dead when he was brought to the hospital, said the report of the medical board entrusted by the health department. It said there were no lapses on the side of doctors. Hence the earlier reports holding them responsible for his death are not true. Murugan had to wait eight hours in an ambulance at various hospitals seeking treatment. The state government constituted a medical board in November to inquire into alleged lapses on the part of doctors in the death of the Tamil Nadu native following denial of treatment by various hospitals.
The four-member medical board were asked to probe whether the six doctors, who are in the dock, committed any lapses. As per the report, Murgan's GCS score was three (the lowest possible score) at KIMS Hospital, Kottiyam, itself, where he had been stabilised initially. (Glasgow Coma Scale describes the general level of consciousness in patients with traumatic brain injury. A GCS score of 8 or less defines a severe head injury.) There was no ventilator to admit him. The so-called "free or vacant ventilators" were, in fact, on standby for patients who were undergoing surgery or were in the ICUs.
The duty doctors did not register details of him in the medical records when brought to the hospital. It was a procedural lapse. The "lack of documentation" by the resident doctors, cannot be termed as medical negligence. Though the doctors had examined the patient, the fact that they had not taken an OP ticket on the patient's name could be held against the doctor The health secretary had earlier sought an explanation from Dr V. Sreekanth and junior resident doctor Patrick Paul, the two duty doctors when Murugan was brought.
Dr Patrick along with the duty nurse had examined him in the ambulance, but this was not registered in the hospital records. The medical board comprises neurosurgeon Dr P K Balakrishnan from Kottayam Medical College, surgeon Dr M P Sasi from Kozhikode Medical College and anaesthetists Dr A Sobha and Dr G Maya, from Kottayam and Thrissur Medical Colleges respectively. The doctors against whom culpable homicide charges have been pressed include two from Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, two from Azeezia Medical College, Kollam, and one doctor each from Travancore Medicity, Kollam and Meditrina Hospital, Kollam.