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Jaya was conscious but infection spread quickly, unexpectedly: UK doc

Jaya was conscious but infection spread quickly, unexpectedly: UK doc
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Apollo Doctors on Monday briefed the media on the health condition of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa during her last days in the Chennai hospital. British doctor Dr Richard John Beale, who treated her, said they weren\'t sure of the source of infection first, but later they found out that the infection was in her blood.

Apollo Doctors on Monday briefed the media on the health condition of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa during her last days in the Chennai hospital. British doctor Dr Richard John Beale, who treated her, said they weren't sure of the source of infection first, but later they found out that the infection was in her blood.

"Bacteria had grown in her blood and septicaemia resulted in the general deterioration of her health" the doctor said.

The late Chief Minister was on and off ventilator and often also interacted after being admitted for fever and dehydration, Richard Beale told a news conference in Chennai.

Dousing rumours over her death, Beale clarified that during the initial days of her hospitalisation, "she (Jaya) was certainly conscious and responding", but her condition worsened unexpectedly.

Beale clarified that it was possible for sepsis, the body's response to infection, to spread fast and damage other organs though Jayalalithaa showed signs of recovery during her 75-day stay at the Apollo Hospitals.

On the day she was admitted "she became short of breath at home and very short of breath when the ambulance brought her to the hospital...there was an infection resulting in damage to organs and contributing to shortness of breath".

He said at that time "it was not clear" what the source of infection was "but subsequent tests showed there was indeed infection in her blood".

"So bacteria were going from the blood and that was where the infection was identified and resulted in her general poor condition," he said.

It was known that Jayalalithaa was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, he said.

When asked if Jayalalithaa was conscious when she signed the Election Commission's papers of her party nominee for November 19 bypoll to Thirupparankundram, the doctors said she was very much awake.

"She was conscious when she signed the Election Commission papers, she read the papers. Since she was very weak, she could not sign the paper and made the thumb impression instead," Apollo doctors said.

"She came into hospital with sepsis – she was certainly conscious and responding before her condition worsened," Dr Beale clarified.

When questioned over the secrecy surrounding her health, Beale said “it’s not a normal practice to photograph patient and publish private details. It is an intrusion into her privacy.”

Beale said, "There was no conspiracy,” and added that questions of exhuming the body were “ridiculous”.

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