Sheila Dikshit was well, cardiac arrest took doctors by surprise

Updated on Jul 21, 2019 10:56 AM IST

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit had undergone a heart surgery in France last year.

Former Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit passed away after a massive cardiac arrest.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Former Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit passed away after a massive cardiac arrest.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
New Delhi | By

Despite her long history of heart ailments, former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who passed away after a massive cardiac arrest at 3.55pm on Saturday in New Delhi, was doing well with no apparent symptoms.

Last year, Dikshit had undergone a heart surgery in France for a valve repair but was recovering well, and the sudden heart attack on Saturday morning took her doctors by surprise.

“She was well, and active, despite her medical history, which is why the attack has come as a surprise. It was quite sudden. I have had been associated with her for almost 18 years, and after such a long association, it feels more of a personal loss,” said Dr Ashok Seth, chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, where she was admitted.

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“She was brought in with a cardiac arrest around 10.40am but we managed to resuscitate her. Her blood pressure, pulse and other vitals were back. However, around 3pm, her condition began deteriorating, followed by another attack. We tried our best but couldn’t revive her,” he said.

Dikshit has had a history of blockages in her blood vessels in the past for which she underwent several procedures, including an open-heart surgery.

In 2012, she underwent an angioplasty to prop open her blocked artery using a stent under the care of Seth, who is her personal cardiologist. In 2006 also, she had undergone an angioplasty under Seth.

Earlier in 2001, Dikshit had undergone an open heart bypass surgery after a blockage was detected in her arteries during a routine health check-up. She underwent a sinus surgery for severe nasal obstruction at Ganga Ram Hospital in April 2013.

On Saturday morning, Dikshit was brought to the hospital in a critical condition, gasping for breath.

“A multi-disciplinary team of doctors, led by Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, carried out the advanced resuscitative measures. Her condition stabilised temporarily. However, she had another cardiac arrest and despite all resuscitative efforts, passed away at 3:55pm on July 20, 2019,” read the hospital statement.


    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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