Vol. 5 Num 295 Sat. March 26, 2005  
Front Page

Mysterious death of patient at city clinic

A Transcom Electronics employee died yesterday due to alleged wrong treatment six hours into a minor plastic surgery to remove a facial scar at Central Hospital at Dhanmondi in the city.

Khandoker Ali Ashraf, 45, a receptionist at Philips Service Centre at Karwan Bazar had been undergoing treatment for the infected scar for long. On doctors' advice he was admitted to Central Hospital on Thursday noon.

He was taken to the operation theatre at 8:30pm Thursday, where anaesthetists rendered him senseless for the surgery.

At about 10:00pm the surgery team led by Brigadier General (retd) Anjan Kumar Dey declared the operation was satisfactory and the patient was safe.

As is customary, the patient was kept for observation in the post-operative room where he died.

According to the report of duty doctor Subrata the patient suffered a series of massive cardiac arrests, which might have caused his death.

Khandoker Ali Newaz and Mukta, the victim's nephews who were waiting outside the operation theatre, were informed at about 5:15am yesterday that the patient had expired.

Talking to The Daily Star, Newaz said, "There was no one to answer our queries about the sudden death. It seemed his death was expected and the management behaved in such a way as to indicate that they were not supposed to say anything about the death."

Mukta said, "We have been trying to reach the management and the duty doctors, but they have refused to meet."

When contacted, Dr MA Quasem, director of the hospital, said, "As far as we know, the patient suffered massive cardiac arrests. But we also suspect that the patient had high blood pressure, on which I can't comment much."

The surgeon, Brigadier Dey said, "The patient was doing very well. After the operation, when he came to senses, I talked to him. He even responded to my queries."

He explained, "Usually before any operation like 'scar revision', we check for all major factors. The patient had high blood pressure which was stabilised at the time of the surgery and I don't recall any difficulties or points we may have missed."

Dey also said the cardiac monitor in the operation theatre showed his heart was pumping normally. "In case the patient didn't respond well, we would have simply put him in the intensive care unit for close observation."

However, Dey said, "Heart failure during or after surgery is nothing uncommon."

The relatives of the patient refused to carry out a post mortem of the dead body. One of the relatives, Aziz Ahmed, said, "The victim's close relatives didn't want to perform any autopsy, although we understand that to stand firm on any allegations we had to let them perform it."