Days After Covid-19 Positive Journalist’s Suicide, AIIMS Trauma Centre Chief Removed

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An AIIMS probe into the alleged suicide by a COVID-19 positive journalist did not find any mala fide intent behind his death or any lapses in the treatment protocol, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday, even as he ordered immediate replacement of the hospital's Trauma Centre's medical superintendent.

He also directed forming an expert committee to suggest suitable changes in the administration of AIIMS as well as the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre.

The committee will submit its recommendation by July 27, he said in a tweet.

A 37-year-old journalist ,Tarun Sisodia, undergoing treatment at the AIIMS Trauma Centre here for COVID-19 died after allegedly jumping off the fourth floor of the hospital building on July 6, following which the health minister had ordered an inquiry.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Vardhan said the four-member inquiry committee submitted a report on Friday.

"The committee did not find any malafide intent in the death of Mr Sisodiya. It also did not find any lapses in the treatment protocol of COVID-19," he tweeted.

"Ordered immediate replacement of Medical Superintendent of AIIMS Trauma Centre. On July 6th, a COVID-19 positive journalist patient Shri Tarun Sisodiya had jumped from the 4th floor and died," he tweeted.

"Directed that an expert committee be constituted to suggest suitable changes in administration, for AIIMS as well as JPNATC. The report, along with its recommendations, shall be submitted before me by July 27," he said in the tweet.

A statement issued by the AIIMS had said that Sisodia was admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre on June 24 with COVID-19.

He was making significant recovery from COVID symptoms. He was stable on room air on Monday and was planned for shifting to a general ward from the ICU, it said.

He earlier had a surgery for frontal lobe meningioma (a type of brain tumour) at the G B Pant hospital, New Delhi, in March 2020.

"While he was at the Trauma Centre for treatment of COVID-19 he was having bouts of disorientation for which he was seen by a neurologist and psychiatrist and put on medication," the statement said.

"The family members were regularly counselled regarding his condition. At around 1.55 pm today, he ran out of TC-1 where he was admitted. Hospital attendants ran after him and tried to stop him. He ran to fourth floor where he broke a window pane and jumped out," the hospital had said in the statement on the day of the incident.

The reporter was immediately moved to the ICU in Trauma Centre in an ambulance. He was intubated and resuscitation was tried but unfortunately, he succumbed to injuries at 3.35 pm, it added.

On Friday, a junior resident doctor from the department of Psychiatry of AIIMS hospital died after he allegedly jumped off the 10th floor of the hostel.