SMS Hospital’s top surgeon says blockage in Gehlot’s artery not due to Covid
A senior doctor at Jaipur’s famous Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital has questioned the claim that Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s artery blockage that forced him to undergo an angioplasty procedure at the hospital last Friday was the result of post-Covid complications.
On August 27, CM Gehlot underwent angioplasty during which a stent was placed in one of his three main arteries that had “90% blockage” following “severe” chest pain since Thursday. The blockage was discovered on Friday and the angioplasty was conducted hours later the same day, according to the chief minister and the hospital authorities.
Gehlot’s tweets on Friday and Saturday suggested he was told by doctor(s) that the artery blockage was a “post-Covid” development.
“This happened due to post-Covid effect, therefore, I request you all to take care and stay healthy, follow Covid protocols and get vaccinated on time. I thank you all again,” he tweeted on August 30, three days after undergoing the angioplasty process.
Responding to one of CM’s tweets, the head of department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at SMS Hospital, Dr Rajkumar Yadav tweeted, “On behalf of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery [department at] SMS Jaipur, I congratulate you for successful and timely angioplasty.”
He continued, “Since the beginning of your pain [in the] chest it was [due to] the blockage only which was wrongly attributed to Covid.”
Dr Yadav, didn’t specify who was responsible for the “wrong attribution” or diagnosis.
When approached for clarity on the events, Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma said a medical team was monitoring Gehlot’s treatment at the SMS Hospital after he complained of chest pain and it was formed in the presence of state chief secretary, principal secretary to the CM, secretary health, and Sudhir Bhandari, principal SMS medical college.
“If there was any lacuna, I will get it examined,” Sharma said referring to the suggestion made by Dr Yadav.
SMS medical college principal Bhandari said the CM had “acute symptoms” and was taken for cardiac intervention on Friday. “A team led by HoD of cardiology attended to him and he felt better. All the faculty of cardiology and cardiothoracic and vascular surgery were present there,” he said. As mentioned earlier, Dr Yadav is the head of department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at SMS Hospital.
Dr Bhandari added that after Gehlot recovered following angioplasty, a board of cardiology was constituted for any follow up.
He said the CM had diabetes and blood pressure, risk factors in Covid. “The CM pre-Covid had no cardiac issues, and so it is a presumption,” he added. Dr Bhandari is aware of Gehlot’s recent medical history.
Cardiologist Dr Nikhil Choudhary at Narayana Multispeciality Hospital in Jaipur, said that during acute Covid, the heart beats can increase or decrease; the heart can become weak; and clotting can happen in arteries to an extent that it can cause heart attack.
He said it was too early to talk about long-term complications post Covid-19, but the use of steroids [in its treatment] was leading to diabetes and heart blockages. Choudhary added that clotting can develop during Covid or a month after it, but such cases aren’t seen after 3-4 months. Gehlot contracted the infection on April 29 this year.