‘Wrong blood transfusion could not have caused Deepti’s death’

Even as a committee report has revealed that blood of the wrong group was administered to a patient in Jaslok Hospital,medical experts have said that incorrect transfusion would not have lead to her death almost two months later.

Written by Ananya Banerjee | Mumbai | Published:January 4, 2012 12:19 am

Even as a committee report has revealed that blood of the wrong group was administered to a patient in Jaslok Hospital,medical experts have said that incorrect transfusion would not have lead to her death almost two months later. Deepti Makhijani,21,was undergoing treatment for blood cancer at Jaslok Hospital where she died on December 8,following which her family alleged negligence. A five-member committee was set up by the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) to look into the matter.

“Deepti’s incorrect transfusion had taken place in October. In fact,she herself realised that the blood being administered to her was not the right type when she noticed the labelling on the blood bag. She was being given B positive blood instead of A positive ,” said a medical expert,who was part of the investigating committee. “Within five minutes,the transfusion was aborted. She did show immediate reaction of rigor and chills. However,since only about 15 ml of blood was administered,it was not very serious. If at all the reaction had to cause death,it would have manifested within 48 hours,” said the committee member.

While Deepti’s family blamed the hospital for her death,hospital authorities said that her death was due to multi-organ failure. “Shock,coma and eventually death are immediate consequences of wrong blood transfusion. In case of a cancer patient,since the body already lacks immunity,the patient would have reacted faster after the transfusion. It would not take as long as two months for the patient to die,” said a hematologist from Jaslok Hospital.

Following a showcause notice issued by FDA to Jaslok Hospital weeks after Deepti’s death,the hospital confirmed the incident. “The hospital admitted that there was an error at the blood collecting level due to which the authorities also received the wrong blood sample. However,the problem was rectified as soon as they realised that the wrong blood was being given,” said P R Uttarwar,Joint Commissioner of FDA,Maharashtra. Uttarwar said the report has been submitted to Gamdevi police station,where Narendra Makhijani,Deepti’s father,had filed a case of negligence against the hospital.

“The report has been forwarded to J J Hospital where a team of experts will go through it. After they get back to us,action will be taken accordingly,” said Sanjay Diwadkar,senior inspector from Gamdevi police station.

Jaslok Hospital director Dr S Mohanty refused to comment on the issue.

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