Taken off ventilator, infection feared

The 23-year old girl, who was gang raped on Sunday, is now off the ventilator, but has been showing mixed response since Friday morning, said doctors at Safdarjung Hospital.

“We are seeing early signs of infection settling in her body. But she is showing a mixed response since morning as there are signs of both improvement and deterioration. Her white blood cell count is 1,500, which is low, meaning she is less immune to infections,” said Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital.

“These are early signs of sepsis,” said Dr Athani. Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition characterised by a whole-body inflammatory state caused by severe infection.
“We are administering high antibiotics and are also maintaining the highest levels of hygiene in her ward to fight infection. I request members of the public to try and not visit the victim’s ward so that the level of hygiene is maintained,” added Dr Athani.

Doctors said the girl is now conscious and trying to breathe on her own, and even attempting to speak. On whether she has communicated anything to them, doctors said she told them that she wanted to meet her mother. But they are restricting themselves not to engage her in any long talks.

“Her bilirubin level has gone up to five, but her platelet is stable. Her ventilator support was removed on Thursday for a while when she responded well, but we had to put it back for the night. Since 3 pm on Friday, we removed her from the ventilator and she is doing good since then. After monitoring her situation we will decide if she still needs the support,” said another doctor.

She is being kept on ‘total parental nutrition’, which means providing nutrition via intravenous route.  On whether kidney transplant is a possibility, doctors refused to comment. Also, on whether she has given any statement to police on Friday.
Athani said, “We will take into account her current status and get her parents’ consent before allowing her to give any statement. But we cannot reveal anything now.”

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