Patiala: Verbal autopsy concludes ‘food poisoning’ as cause of girls’ death - Hindustan Times
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Patiala: Verbal autopsy concludes ‘food poisoning’ as cause of girls’ death

ByKaram Prakash, Patiala
Apr 06, 2024 09:08 AM IST

As per WHO, the VA is conducted via interviews using a standardised questionnaire to gather the details on symptoms, medical history, and the circumstances leading to death

A verbal autopsy of the deceased 10-year-old girl, who died after consuming her birthday cake last month, has concluded food poisoning as the possible cause of the death.

Patiala: Verbal autopsy concludes ‘food poisoning’ as cause of girls’ death
Patiala: Verbal autopsy concludes ‘food poisoning’ as cause of girls’ death

Even as the investigators are awaiting the final forensic autopsy report and results of the forensic lab and chemical examiner, a four-member team of the Patiala health department conducted a verbal autopsy (VA) going into the medical records of the victim and her family to ascertain the cause of death.

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As per WHO, the VA is conducted via interviews using a standardised questionnaire to gather the details on symptoms, medical history, and the circumstances leading to death. Healthcare professionals or algorithms then analyse the information to identify the likely cause of death.

The health department team, including two epidemiologists, concluded that it could be a case of food positioning.

“The constituted team is of the opinion that this isn’t a case of any widespread food-borne outbreak but could be an isolated case of food poisoning leading to the death. The final cause of death is yet to be established as viscera reports and other reports of forensic labs and chemical examiners are still awaited,” the report of the team read.

District health officer Dr Vijay said that the team has already sent their report. “We didn’t find any food or water borne outbreak after surveying the area, where the death was reported. We have sent our report while lab reports of viscera and food samples are awaited,” Dr Vijay added.

District epidemiologist Dr Sumeet Singh, who was part of the four-member team, said that the younger sister of the deceased had also developed the same symptoms: multiple episodes of vomiting; abdominal pain; and cramps. The doctor added that the deceased had had two episodes of loose stools for which they took treatment from a paediatrician, who diagnosed the ailment as acute gastritis.

“After conducting the verbal autopsy, it appears to be a case of food poisoning. However, lab reports are awaited,” he added.

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