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Undiagnosed heart valve issue led to house surgeon’s death

The mystery behind the death of a young lady house surgeon at KMC seems to have been solved with the police sources stating that the 22-year-old doctor died of a “complication of pumping valves of her heart”.

Undiagnosed heart valve issue led to house surgeon’s death


“It was not a suicide,” said police sources, adding: “She had very weak pumping valves. The problem, though a prolonged one, was not diagnosed earlier.”

Dr R Prathibha was found dead in her room in KMC Hostel on the morning of May 1 and she was a member of a team of doctors attending COVID-19 patients at the KMC Hospital.

As the doctor failed to come out of her room on that day, the hostel staff had to break open the door. The doctor was found dead on the bed.

Police had then said that there were no external injuries or any other signs of attack or assault on her body. And the investigators were not sure if she had injected herself with anything poisonous or consumed any such things. They had then recorded it as suspicious death under CrPC section 174.

There was also speculation of possible intake of poison, in the form of vitamin tablets and other COVID preventive medicine. But postmortem report and viscera report categorically ruled out that possibility. Police are now told by experts that she had died of weak heart, because of the valves not pumping properly.

Hailing from Vellore, Prathiba had been staying with her family in Perambur. But due to COVID outbreak, she has been given a room in the women’s hostel in KMC, where she was found dead on May 1.

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