Chennai: The treatment given to former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa at the Apollo Hospitals here was “of world class, perfectly straight forward”, asserted the British consultant intensivist, Dr. Richard Beale, who had led the team of doctors that attended on the late CM during her 75-day treatment at the Apollo Hospital here. She died of cardiac arrest and not because of any conspiracy, he said.
“The nuts and bolts of this medical case are perfectly straight forward. There is no question of poisoning at all,” Dr. Beale informed a crowded press conference arranged by the Tamil Nadu Governmenton Monday to counter various rumours and allegations popping out now and then, including a couple of court petitions, about the late leader’s hospitalisation and tragic demise on December 5.
“There was no conspiracy, nothing strange happened during her treatment at Apollo. We put our best effort to save her life…,” said Dr.Beale. She was rushed to Apollo on September 22 last year and passed away on December 5 following a cardiac arrest, doctors said.
“It was a witnessed cardiac arrest and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation was started immediately for 20 minutes. Later she was put on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (EGMO). But her heart didn’t respond even after 24 hours, and then we decided that it is futile to continue therapy,” Dr Beale said.
“The matter was shared with all doctors, ministers, government of India, and others concerned,” said Dr. Beale, who was flanked by Dr. P. Balaji of Madras Medical College and Dr. K. Babu of Apollo Hospitals.
The doctors said this press conference (at a hotel here) was “facilitated by government” and that there was “no political pressure” on them to hold this meeting. The late Chief Minister was on and off ventilator and often also interacted with medical staff, they said.
She was admitted for dehydration and fever but her condition worsened. Infection spread to organs and led to shortness of breath. Asked about her response to the treatment, Dr. Richard said for a period of time, she was treated with non-invasive ventilation, and initial condition improved but sepsis progressed. It was necessary for her to go on a ventilator. She was fully interactive. “Sepsis can affect quickly and a person can fall sick within hours. Bacterial infection was the underlying problem,” he added.
Jayalalithaa did not want to be shifted to London, though the doctors reviewed the option of transferring her to London. “But there are risks while transporting critical case patients, particularly over such long distances. Besides, the facilities at Apollo are first grade and there are experts here. In later stages, she herself did not want to be transferred,” Dr. Beale said answering a question. “It is ridiculous”, Dr Beale shot back, when a reporter asked him to comment on the statement made by a judge of the Madras high court sometime back that he would not hesitate to order exhuming Jayalalithaa's body in view of the many questions being raised about her death.
“There is no question of poisoning. Anyone who goes through medical history will realise how silly this question is. It is clear. There was nothing mysterious. We have given her the best treatment,” Dr Beale said....