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Patient died after normal echo results, fever, oozing stitches that wwere treated with by inserting a cloth post fallots surgery. Cause?

my sister underwent a Tetralogy of Fallots surgery on 10th October 2012. she was kept in the ICU for three days, n later shifted to general ward. But once they shifted her to the ward she started having high fever with chills, we told the doctors but they said it was normal, next day she complained about a pain in the stitches just above the drainage pipe ( Nasogastric tube), but still the doctors said that it happens because she had undergone a surgery. this fever n pain continued till 20th Oct 2012, but in all this also my sis was completely healthy n fine. ie: she would do all her exercises, walk, eat well everything. on 20th she herself told told the doctors that she could see her lower stitches open n when the doctors just touched that stiches suddenly pus started oozing out..the doctors pressed n removed the stitches by cutting a few more above stitches n inserting a cloth with the help of a scissor in that stitches n trying to remove that pus . My sis was in terrible pain , no local anesthesia as given to her . this process was done with her twice in a day after which she became very weak. Even after all dis her CBC, echo n other reports wer normal on the same day.. but suddenly at 1.30 am on sunday morning her heart beat stopped after which she was taken into the ICU n declared dead at 7.30 in the morning on 21st oct 2012. I want to know how can she suddenly die, when her reports wer normal, and was the method of removing her pus correct? did the doctors do negligence?
Asked On : Fri, 30 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  63
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Pediatrician 's  Response

Thank you for your query.

I am sorry to learn about the turn of events and the death of your sister. I shall try to address all your concerns:
1. Following cardiac surgery sudden death can occur due to arrhythmias (electrical malfunction of the cariac tissue). However the extent of the pocket of pus shall have to considered too.
2. Blood reports can be normal and do not tell the extent of infection.
3. In superficial pockets of pus the method of removing the pus was correct. Yes, it is a painful procedure.
4. Negligence on the part of doctors is a debatable issue. Infection post surgery is a big issue with the medical fraternity and there are a number of causes for it. Unfortunately it is not possible to enumerate them here.

I hope I have answered your query to your satisfaction.


Rajiv K Khandelwal
Answered: Mon, 26 Aug 2013
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