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Maran's treatment gets Apollo into trouble
Shobha Warrier in Chennai | June 19, 2003 01:23 IST
In the eighties, it was the sad story of table tennis player Chandrasekhar ending as a paralytic; in the nineties, it was the botched knee operation on Tamil actress Viji; in 2000, it was the treatment administered to then Union minister Rangarajan Kumaramangalam.
Controversy seems to court the Apollo Hospitals Group every now and then.
The group is again in the news for the wrong reasons. This time the patient is Union Minister Murasoli Maran.
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister and Maran's uncle M Karunanidhi has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee expressing his 'reservations and apprehensions about the treatment administered to Maran by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (in
In his letter, which was released to the media in Chennai, Karunanidhi said, "While I appreciate the care and support extended to Maran by these institutions, I have heard that there were some lacunae in the course of the treatment, which could have been averted if it had been diagnosed on time."
"I have been told that Maran was discharged from the AIIMS after surgery despite having high temperature. This fact should have been taken into medical consideration in time."
Karunanidhi also appears to have been told by the doctors attending to Maran in the
The surgery that followed was Maran's third.
"One cannot ignore the fact that three consecutive surgeries in the heart would spoil the health condition of any patient and Maran is no exception."
"Furthermore after consultations, I do feel that the way in which Maran was paralysed medically, though it is usual in surgery, needs to be explained qualitatively and quantitatively," Karunanidhi has written.
He acknowledged the standards maintained by both the institutions and the care extended to Maran by the doctors in both places, 'but this does not mean the inferences (reached by him) were baseless and vague'.
Karunanidhi has requested the prime minister to order an enquiry 'through the appropriate authority'.
Apollo Hospital (Chennai) Managing Director Preetha Reddy has expressed 'shock' over the former chief minister's accusations.
She reminded Karunanidhi that Maran was brought to Apollo 'in a high risk situation'.
He and his family were given the option of going back to the place where the first surgery was performed, "but it was the unanimous choice of the family that he be treated at our hospital."
At the outset, the consequences of a second surgery on a patient infected with fungemia were explained in detail 'and a high risk consent was taken from his daughter and family physician', she said.
"Eminent specialists, not only in
"There was no negligence during the surgery," Reddy insisted.
"Maran's daughter and his family physician were present all through the surgery and treatment and can vouch for our statement."
According to her, the doctors at the
"Post operation, you (Karunanidhi) and the family saw him walk around the bed, take oral feeds and spoke to him."
She reminded Karunanidhi about his November 13, 2002 statement expressing appreciation to the team of doctors at Apollo.
Reddy said the hospital was "open to any enquiry which may be instituted about the quality, concern and care provided to people, including the common man. But it is disheartening to note that we are unnecessarily being dragged into a controversy."
More reports from Tamil Nadu
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