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Brain swelling led to death of gangrape victim

December 29, 2012 11:20 IST

Serious swelling in the brain resulting from the cardiac arrest she suffered a few days ago was an 'important cause' that led to the death of 23-year-old gang-rape victim who fought for her life with 'great fortitude and courage'.

Cerebral edema, a condition characterised by excess accumulation of water in the intracellular or extracellular spaces of the brain, proved fatal in the case of the paramedic student who was airlifted to Singapore on Wednesday night for specialised treatment.

The young girl suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday night which caused severe injuries to her brain as well. Complications in brain along with multi-organ failure took the life of the victim at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

"Brain injury is an important cause for the death. She suffered a cardiac arrest at Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday. This could have caused the brain injury and she also  suffered from multi-organ failure," Dr Yatin Mehta, Chairman Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology at Medanta Medicity, told PTI.

He said that in such cases the death is finally due to cardiac arrest.

Mehta, who was by the side of the girl in the air ambulance in which she was airlifted to Singapore, said the girl's blood pressure was normal and her heart was pumping blood till last evening when he had left Singapore for India.

"Her lungs were infected slightly on Friday but her blood pressure was normal," he said, adding that she was an 'extremely brave girl' and a 'role model' who fought back after suffering grievous injuries.

Cerebral edema is a serious medical condition where there is way more fluid in the skull than there should be causing swelling in brain which compromises its own blood flow.

About the nearly six-hour journey to Singapore, Dr Mehta said the victim's blood pressure dipped very low for a few minutes but it was brought to normal level immediately.

"It was just for a temporary period. She responded quite well. In fact, she responded better than what I was expecting. Till Friday, her blood pressure was normal and she took the treatment very well," he said.

Maintaining that the girl was air-lifted only with an aim to get best of the treatment for her, the doctor paid rich tributes to her courage. "She was an extremely brave girl. She is a role model for everyone. She fought back," he said and noted that it was time for action.

"As a society we should unite and fight against such crimes. It is not just enough that people shed artificial tears and forget. We should work hard," he said.

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