Jaya’s death: AIIMS doctors were set up to monitor treatment

Chennai: AIIMS doctors informed a panel probing the death of late J Jayalalithaa that an expert team was formed to monitor her treatment at a hospital, based on the Centre’s advisory following Tamilnadu government’s request.

Three Delhi-AIIMS doctors yesterday deposed before the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry. Quoting their replies during cross-examination, N Raja Senthoor Pandian, counsel for V K Sasikala, an aide of the late Chief Minister, said they were satisfied with the treatment provided to her.

“The doctors expressed satisfaction over the treatment provided for the late Chief Minister by Apollo Hospital, and they said Apollo has all the amenities of the AIIMS,” Pandian told reporters.

G C Khilnani of the Department of Pulmonology, Anjan Trikha, Professor of Anaesthesiology, and Nitish Nayak, professor of Cardiology, appeared before the one-man panel yesterday for cross-examination.

The Arumughaswamy Commission, which was set up last year, has been tasked with probing the circumstances leading to the late Chief Minister’s death.

The doctors were on Thursday examined by the Commission from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm. They had been issued summons by the panel to appear before it.

“The doctors said a medical team of AIIMS experts was formed by it’s director, based on the advisory of the Central government,” Pandian said quoting their depositions and added that this was done on a request from the state government.

The doctors expressed satisfaction about completing their duty entrusted to them to monitor the treatment, he said.

The AIIMS doctors said they had examined the late leader nine times during her hospitalisation in the ICU, adding they had suggested tracheostomy procedure for her.

The procedure is usually done to optimise breathing. They said that when they examined Jayalalithaa on 3 December 2016 (two days before her death), she was fine.

She could sit for 20 minutes and did not need any surgical intervention or intensive treatment. She was, however, critical for about 11 days between 5 and 15 October that year, the AIIMS doctors said.

The doctors said that Minister O Panneerselvam (who then held the portfolios of Jayalalithaa including Home) and Lok Sabha Speaker M Thambidurai were present during medical briefings.

The Commission had summoned three doctors of AIIMS, who examined her at the Apollo Hospital here, to appear before it on 23 and 24 August.

Pandian said he had sought summoning of AIIMS doctors since January this year. The panel’s terms of reference was to inquire into the circumstances leading to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa on 22 September 2016, and treatment provided by the hospital till her demise on 5 December 2016.