Autopsy of patient throws up Covid negative RT-PCR report, family flummoxed

Technically, this is the first private autopsy report on any dead Covid patient to be carried out in India at the request of the family.

Published: 22nd April 2021 06:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2021 06:40 AM   |  A+A-

A healthcare worker prepares to collect a swab sample from a passenger at the Kempegowda Bus Station in Bengaluru on Sunday. (Photo | Shriram BN/EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: In a curious medical case, a 68-year-old woman who was diagnosed as Covid-positive and received treatment for it, was found to be Covid-negative after a private autopsy report.The US citizen was admitted to a top Bengaluru hospital in March with comorbidities, and was treated for Urinary Tract Infection, during which she was diagnosed as Covid-positive, according to an RT-PCR test. But her husband, a retired space scientist from the US, was not satisfied with the diagnosis and treatment, and opted for a private autopsy which revealed that the woman was Covid-negative.  

The scientist, who is originally from Bengaluru, and preferred not to be named, said he rushed his wife to a private hospital when she complained of acute stomach discomfort. She was treated for it and diagnosed Covid-positive. After a few days of treatment, the hospital discharged her and advised her to remain under medication in home quarantine. But when she started developing chills and fever at home, the family rushed her back to the same hospital where she was treated for Covid and passed away on April 5. The hospital report says she died of Covid.

The family was not satisfied with the hospital report and her husband decided to go in for an autopsy to find out the truth, but ran into a problem -- no one was ready to do an autopsy on a dead Covid patient. The family finally zeroed in on Dr Dinesh Rao, who had performed similar autopsies a few months ago to find out changes in the body organs, especially the lungs, and submitted the findings to the government. The autopsy, which started on April 6, took almost a fortnight to be completed and the results were released to the family on Tuesday.

Technically, this is the first private autopsy report on any dead Covid patient to be carried out in India at the request of the family.Dr Rao, head of Forensic Medicine, Oxford Medical College, who has served as head of Jamaica Forensic Department, told TNIE that all the swabs from the nose, throat, lungs and two other body parts showed RT-PCR Covid-negative.

The autopsy said the patient died of heart attack -- Myocardial Infarction. The mystery gets deeper because the report summarises that the patient going home was a grave mistake because it resulted in damage to her brain and other tissues during her stay at home, which was reportedly under advice of the doctors, said her husband. 


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