Teen footballer death | Delay in removing compression bandage turned fatal, say doctors

A view of the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai, where Priya was admitted for the amputation, and where she later died
| Photo Credit: File

A delay in removing the compression bandage is what turned fatal for 17-year-old Priya, a resident of Vyasarpadi, who died of multiple organ failure on Tuesday.

“This delay resulted in tissue necrosis. In such cases, myoglobin (a protein) is released from the dead tissues into the blood circulation. Myoglobin is toxic to the kidneys. This caused acute renal failure in the girl. Subsequently, she developed liver dysfunction. The enzyme levels, were elevated causing jaundice. She then developed myocardial infarction,” a senior doctor explained.

After developing complications at the Government Peripheral Hospital, Periyar Nagar on November 7, Priya, a football player, who had undergone an arthroscopic ligament repair procedure, was shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) and underwent an above-knee amputation.

Priya’s health started to deteriorate on Monday morning. Her blood pressure levels had started to drop and her renal function was affected. “On Monday morning, she was taken up for revision surgery for removal of the dead tissues and flapping,” the doctor said.

The 17-year-old was put on a ventilator and started on life-saving drugs. However, her blood pressure levels did not pick up and her condition further deteriorated on Monday night. She died on Tuesday morning.

The doctor noted that the arthroscopic procedure performed at Government Peripheral Hospital was done correctly but the delay in removing the compression bandage was what led to complications. “She had complained of pain in the leg and numbness at 5 p.m. on the day of the procedure. When she was brought to RGGGH, there was complete necrosis. So, the compression bandage must have been in place for at least four hours,” he said.

A senior government surgeon said that usually, doctors on duty check on the tourniquet every one to one-and-a-half-hours to monitor and release pressure.

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