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Sarabjit's survival chances slim, say hospital doctors

The condition of Sarabjit Singh, who was brutally assaulted by fellow prisoners, is serious and chances of his survival are slim, his doctors said in Lahore yesterday. Sarabjit (49) suffered critical head injuries in the assault by four to five prisoners with bricks and plates in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore on Friday.


Dalbir Kaur (centre), sister of Sarabjit Singh, his wife, Sukhpreet Kaur (right), and daughter Poonam (left) offered prayers at Golden temple in Amritsar before they left for Pakistan. Pics/AFP

With doctors at the Jinnah hospital saying that his condition was ‘critical’, Sarabjit Singh’s family members his wife Sukhbir Kaur, sister Dalbir Kaur and two daughters crossed into Pakistan at 12.30 pm yesterday through the Wagah border. They were to taken directly to Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital.

“When we met him in the ICU, he was just lying there. Doctors told us that his condition was critical. Please help us to save my brother’s life,” Sarabjit’s elder sister Dalbir Kaur said. “His daughters called him out ‘Papa’. His wife called out to him. But he lay there like a stone. I could not understand what to say,” she said. “I plead to our government with folded hands. Please take him to any country for his treatment. Don’t waste time, save him,” she pleaded. Sarabjit has been intubated and linked to a ventilator in the intensive care unit at the hospital.

“Singh was diagnosed on Saturday with 3/15 glasgow coma scale (GCS); that elaborates upon his critical state of conscious level,” one of the doctors treating him said. He said the GCS was a neurological scale aimed at assessing level of consciousness after profound head injury and the reading of 3/15 indicated deep unconsciousness. Sarabjit’s treatment has thus turned out to be a major neurosurgical challenge for the medical board constituted by the authorities, the doctor said. The doctor, who was not named, said that Sarabjit had suffered a critical bone fracture when he was taken to Jinnah Hospital’s surgical emergency on Friday evening.

During clinical assessment, it was established that Sarabjit had diffused brain injury over a widespread area of his head that led to unconsciousness. Doctors also discovered a haematoma (a localised collection of blood outside the blood vessels) which was greater than 3-cm, which indicated that the patient was in dire need of surgical intervention. However, the medical board examined Sarabjit twice on Saturday and doctors were of the view that there was no need for surgical intervention at this stage. Sarabjit is being kept in a separate ICU in unprecedented police security and no one is being allowed to see him, except doctors.

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