PU dental college shocker: Woman in chair for tooth extraction dies after being given anaesthesia

A 30-year-old woman who was being prepped for tooth extraction at Panjab University’s Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital died after being administered local anaesthesia.

The patient, Shrimati, lived with her husband at a housing society in Sector 80, Mohali.

The university in its statement said the female patient, aged 30, came to the dental college at 10 am for tooth extraction.

While being readied for the procedure, she was given local anaesthesia. But she suddenly complained of discomfort and breathlessness.

Senior doctors were immediately called in to take over. But the patient became unresponsive. Doctors tried CPR for more than an hour, but unfortunately the patient could not be revived, the university said, adding that an anaesthesiologist, an internal medicine consultant, along with several senior dental surgeons, were on duty.

Dental college principal Dr Hemant Batra, through the official spokesperson, said, “At present it looks like a case of acute pulmonary edema and the cause of death is cardiopulmonary arrest.”

Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs, which leads to shortness of breath. Cardiopulmonary arrest is the cessation of adequate heart function and respiration, which results in death.

Police officials said the patient’s body was shifted to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, for post-mortem examination to establish the exact cause of death. “Further action will be taken following the autopsy report,” they said.

Chandigarh health services director Dr Suman Singh said a Covid-19 test will be performed on the deceased before conducting the autopsy.

Notably, the incident comes two weeks after speculations that Propofol, an anaesthetic drug given to patients before a major surgery, caused five deaths at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

The five patients, who had to undergo orthopaedic and neurosurgeries, were suspected to have died after the drug was administered to them.

Thereon, the UT health department had withdrawn the drug from hospitals and pharmacists in Chandigarh. A joint team of drug inspectors from the Chandigarh administration and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had also taken samples of the drug from the private pharmacy that supplied it. The report is still awaited.

However, it was not immediately clear which anaesthetic drug was used for the patient who died at the dental college.

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