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Doctors criticise air-lifting of Delhi gangrape survivor to Singapore

The government’s decision to airlift an extremely critical patient is drawing criticism from specialists who have said the move was more political than medical.

On the night the patient was dramatically shifted out of Safdarjung Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit late night, rumours were flying thick and fast about the victim’s condition. News of her being shifted to Singapore took everyone by surprise given the fragile condition of the woman, who had already suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday night.

In a stunning disclosure, a member of the expert team that was consulted by the government prior to her being flown in an air ambulance to Singapore, told the The Hindu the question they were asked was not whether there deficiencies in treatment but whether it was safe to move her.

The doctors have criticised the move to transfer the girl despite her condition. Screen grab from ibnlive.

Slamming the high-risk exercise, Samiran Nundy, chairman of the organ transplant and gastro-surgery departmentof Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told the national daily that it would be weeks before the possibility of an intestinal transplant could be considered.

“I just can’t understand why a critically ill patient with infection in blood and body, high grade fever and on the ventilator is being transferred… why hurry and take the patient out from a facility which works so well. It seems more of a political move,” he said.

Some experts have even put the possibility of a transplant six as being a distant as six months away.

The Indian Express quoted an unnamed medical source involved in her care as saying “Considering her condition, our primary aim is to control the spread of infection, and now the latest cardiac complications. She needs proper ICU care in the immediate future, the possibility of a transplant cannot even be considered for at least six months.”

In his statement to the press, the Kevin Loh, CEO of the Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital has said: “The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life…our medical team's investigations upon her arrival at the hospital yesterday showed that in addition to her prior cardiac arrest, she also had infection of her lungs and abdomen, as well as significant brain injury.”

In an earlier statement he had said: “Prior to her arrival, she has already undergone three abdominal surgeries, and experienced a cardiac arrest in India. A multi-disciplinary team of specialists is taking care of her and doing everything possible to stabilise her condition.”