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Mulago disowns saw in dead man


Mulago hospital yesterday exhibited their surgery tools and disowned the one the Indian community claimed was left in a patient, Daljit Singh, who died on July 27.

The head of the Ortheopedic department, Titus Beyeza, who was flanked by the team that carried out the operation, said the instrument published in the media was not a medical tool.

"They must prove that a metal that is alien to the medical field could have been used in the orthopedic department," he said.

"Such a saw is not used in orthopedic operations. Maybe in timber workshops but not in hospitals," Beyeza said. "May be it was used to cut his trousers or in preparation for cremation," he added.

"Only blades were used on him because we did not need to cut, since his was not an amputation," said Patrick Ssekimpi, one of the orthopedic surgeons who carried out the operation.

Singh was admitted to the hospital on July 14 after a motor accident. He was operated upon on July 17 for a fracture on the thigh bone. A piece of metal and screws were inserted to hold the bone in place.

Beyeza said an X-ray showed that one of the screws was not placed correctly and Singh was taken back on July 22 for the anomaly to be corrected.

He said the second operation to correct the misdirected screw was minor and involved removal of a thread to access the target area.

He explained that after every orthopedic surgery, an X-Ray is usually carried out to ascertain that everything was done well.

The surgeon, who had Singh's medical records, said, on July 23, the patient developed a high fever and a blood test was recommended. He was transferred to Ward 4B for treatment.

He said the patient's blood sample was taken to SAS Clinic on Bombo Road by his caretakers and laboratory results showed that he had a high concentration of malaria parasites in his blood. The test at SAS clinic was dated July 24, 2009.

Beyeza said before Singh was transferred to ward 4B, he was given quinine and an anti-biotic injection to stem infection after the operation.

He said the patient did not respond well to malaria treatment, which prompted the doctors to carry out other tests and he was found to have hiv.

He said in addition to testing for malaria, they carried out other tests to rule out septicemia and electrolytes imbalance.

On the day Singh died, the doctor had also ordered for a complete blood count, renal (kidney) function, a CT-scan and lumber puncture tests to check the cerebral spinal fluid of the patient.

The death certificate indicated that Singh had acute respiratory distress syndrome, which means that his lungs were constricted and the air was being squeezed out.

The same certificate indicates that there was an underlying cause, which was septicemia or septic shock, which was in turn a result of effects of hiv. The certificate was dated July 31, 2009.

Bayeza said investigations should be carried out to establish how the saw ended up in Singh's ashes.


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Information in this article was accurate in August 7, 2009. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.