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1 of 28 Bhabha Hospital patients succumbs to adverse drug reaction

After complaining of severe stomach ache on Monday night following an injection, 47-year-old Saira Sheikh was shifted to the ICU of KEM Hospital, where she passed away on Tuesday night

A day after 28 women, admitted in civic-run Bhabha hospital, suffered allergic reaction to antibiotics administered to them, one of the patients, 47-year-old Saira Sheikh, succumbed to the adverse drug reaction in the ICU of KEM Hospital, where she had been shifted for further treatment.

The 28 patients were receiving treatment at Bhabha Hospital in Bandra, but were later shifted to KEM and Sion Hospital. File pic
The 28 patients were receiving treatment at Bhabha Hospital in Bandra, but were later shifted to KEM and Sion Hospital. File pic

Sheikh had been admitted to Bhabha Hospital on August 15, after she tested positive for typhoid. Relatives say she had symptoms like fever and weakness. Shortly after being administered a concoction of two antibiotics Ceftriaxone and Cefotaxime, each 1000 mg she complained of severe stomach ache.

“After that, her condition started deteriorating and doctors informed us that she would have to be shifted to KEM Hospital. She was conscious the whole time and was talking to us, even though she was put on oxygen support. Despite treatment in the ICU, she died at 11.30 pm on Tuesday,” said Gulam Sheikh, a family friend.

Saira lived in Kurla with her husband and two children. Her body was taken to JJ Hospital in Byculla, where a post mortem was conducted. Doctors said that the condition of other patients who complained of body ache, breathlessness and nausea, is currently stable. Around 13 of the women were shifted to Sion Hospital.

Dr Prashant Bhatia, a general physician, said, “Ceftriaxone and Cefotaxime are two very common drugs, which are generally given to patients who complain of monsoon related diseases. These medicines are given to patients before reports of blood tests done to detect the exact disease are received.

Frequently, one dose per day or a maximum of two doses per day is administered to patients.” He added, “The woman who succumbed to the antibiotics had more complications than others when she was admitted, and so her body may have not been able to bear the Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR).”

An FIR has been lodged in Kurla police station. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched an inquiry into the incident, drawing samples and sending them for toxicity tests to the Drug Control Laboratory, which is situated in the FDA headquarters.

Speaking to mid-day, Pramod Yasatwar, FDA drug inspector for Zone III, said, “The drug sampling has been done and we’ve issued orders that the two antibiotics not be used until the sampling report arrives. This has been done as a precautionary measure, so that no other patient is affected. The sampling results will be ready in another 20 days.”

The two drugs that the patients reacted to have been identified as Ceftriaxone, manufactured by Jee Laboratory in Himachal Pradesh, and Cefotaxime, by Sanjivini Parental Drugs in Navi Mumbai.

These injections are used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. An FDA official explained, “The drugs that were administered by the doctors are used to cure high fever. We have stopped the batch of the drugs and are awaiting the reports.”

BMC speak
Dr Suhasini Nagda, director of major civic hospitals said, “We can’t directly attribute the patient’s death to an adverse drug reaction, as the post mortem report will indicate clearly if there was any other underlying cause. The drugs given weren’t past expiry date and the same batch was administered to four other male patients, who had no allergic reactions.”

She added, “We’ve submitted the patient’s samples to be tested in Kasturba Hospital and the results will arrive today. The test will determine if she was suffering from any infectious disease or not,” she added. She further said that the FDA report will determine why 28 female patients had an allergic reaction to the same antibiotics that have been administered to other patients previously.

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