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Guwahati doctor death not linked to hydroxychloroquine: Official

IANS Mar 31, 2020

Amid a social media storm after a city-based anaesthesiologist, who was taking anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a precaution against coronavirus infection, died of heart attack, doctors on March 30 ruled out any link between his death and the intake of the particular medicine.

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Utpaljit Barman, who was attached to the privately-run Pratiksha Hospital, died on March 29, following which Twitter and Facebook went mad in finding a connect between the medicine and his demise, thereby linking it to the Coronavirus scare. Barman, 44, was rushed to GNRC hospital after he complained of uneasiness and passed away around 2.45 p.m. on March 29.

Pratiksha Hospital Medical Superintendent said Barman was taking the drug, like several other doctors, but that has "absolutely no relation" with his death. "He was taking hydroxychloroquine, approved by some authorities for treatment of coronavirus, as a preventive. But almost all doctors I have spoken to feel his death is in no way related to intake of hydroxychloroquine. A number of doctors are using the drug as a self-medication now in the given circumstances," the Medical Superintendent told IANS.

"In fact, he died of Myocardial infraction (MI), not cardiac arrest," he said. MI, also known as a heart attack, is a condition when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. Another doctor from the hospital also corroborated the Medical Superintendent.

There were also reports that two other doctors have been admitted with cardiac arrest. But an official at Excelcare hospitals, denied that any doctor has been admitted there due to complications arising from intake of hydroxychloroquine.

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