Dewormer chokes 11-yr-old girl to death

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An 11-year-old girl studying at the Marwari Vidya Parishad Government School in Nallagutta in Secunderabad choked to death after being administered deworming tablets at school.

About 140 students in the school were administered the tablets under the state deworming programme. About four lakh students in government, private and government-aided schools in the age group of 3 to 15 years had been administered the tablets on Friday and the program was continued on Saturday at some places.

Mr Suresh, father of the victim, Kushbu, said that she had no medical problems. Her mother said, “She was all right in the morning and left for school at 9 am. At around 11 am, three students from her class came and informed me that she was taken to the hospital. Then I was told that she had died there.”

The body has been sent for post-mortem.

According to the school’s principal Ekta Jaiswal, all students, including Kushbu, were given the tablets in front of her and nurses. Kushbu took the tablet just after having food and vomited. She started having problems breathing immediately thereafter.

She was taken to the local Primary Health Centre from where she was referred to the Gandhi Hospital where she was admitted. She died at the hospital half-an-hour later. A case was booked at the Ramgopalpet police station under Section 174 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC) for death under suspicious conditions.

Additional joint collector G. Rekha Rani said that preliminary medical reports had suggested that the girl had died as her windpipe had got blocked and there was no trace of the tablet in her body.

Girl choked on own vomit

District collector S.A.M. Rizvi has announced a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh and a JNNURM patta for the family of an 11-year-old girl who choked to death after being administered deworming tablets. He said they had taken down the batch number of the tablets and would conduct a probe.

“According to the preliminary report from the hospital, the tablet wasn’t visible in the body. After vomiting, she tried to breathe and swallowed some vomit back in and that blocked her windpipe,” additional joint collector G. Rekha Rani said. “Technically, it wasn’t because of the tablet, but we have to take social responsibility,” she said.

Doctors said deworming tablets did not have any side-effects and even if they did, the effects would show up slowly over time.

Senior paediatrician of Yashoda Hospitals T.M. Rao said, “If the tablet is put deep in the mouth, it may stimulate vomit. And breathing immediately might make one choke... I have never seen a kid dying because of deworming tablets. I think the tablet was not the problem.”

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