Rape victim stable, conscious: Doctors
The 23-year-old physiotherapist, who was tortured and gang-raped four days ago, was conscious and in a stable condition, doctors said here on Thursday. But they warned that there was still danger of infection setting in during the next few days.
“She continues to be in stable condition,” Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of the Safdarjung Hospital, told reporters.
“She is alert, conscious. She is making an attempt to breathe on her own. Our immediate and foremost aim is to get her out of ICU and get her stable,” said Dr Athani, who was flanked by a panel of six doctors who are treating the girl.
“She is stable but there is still a danger of her catching infection,” he said.
Describing it as “one of the most tragic incidents” they had ever seen, the doctors said they admire the fighting spirit of the girl.
According to a doctor, who is treating her, they have an “extremely unusual case”.
“For the past 30 years as a surgeon, I have not seen such a grave injury to the intestines in any case of sexual assault. It is extremely unusual and rare, none of us has seen such a case,” Dr Sunil Jain, a specialist in general surgery at Safdarjung Hospital, said.
Calling her a “brave girl,” Dr Athani said she had withstood a lot of suffering in the last few days and had undergone two surgeries since her admission on Sunday night.
“She is fighting it out. The girl has an immense fighting spirit… needless to say, because today (Thursday) is the fourth day… she has sustained such grievous injury and remained alert and withstood it all,” Dr Athani said.
Doctors from the adjoining All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are also providing assistance.
Another doctor, pleading anonymity said: “Being a medical student she understands better. Her lower vagina has been badly damaged but her upper vagina has not been affected. Her ovaries and uterus have not been damaged, if she comes out of the crucial phase, she can lead a normal life.”
The doctor said she was still on ventilator support.
“As of now, her vital parameters are within expected normalcy. Blood pressure, respiratory rate, urinary output are normal. Her blood platelet level is 41,000. It has dipped,” the doctors said. The normal platelet count in a healthy individual is between 150,000 and 450,000.
The doctors also said the victim will have to depend on Total Parental Nutrition (TPN) which means providing nutrition via the intravenous route.
“She is conscious, she is not able to speak as the tube is inserted. She is communicating by writing to her parents and brother,” the doctors said.
The young woman, who hails from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, has written several notes to her family.
In one of the notes, she has written: “The accused need to be punished.” The woman cannot yet speak, as she is on life support. The tubes of the ventilator that supply air for her to breath hinder her speech.
In one note, the victim asked if the culprits had been arrested; in another, she enquired after her male friend who was beaten up by the six accused. The woman and her male friend were stripped, robbed and then dumped by the roadside by the six men in a private bus. The torture lasted about 40 minutes.
The doctor also said that the young woman knew that her torture and rape by the accused has left the nation shocked, and that there has been a massive outpouring of grief and of expressions of support.
“She is aware that MPs, students and women’s rights activists have come out and expressed support for her and the whole nation is outraged,” the doctor said.
The victim was serving as an intern at a private hospital here.
Doctors on Wednesday conducted a two-hour surgery to remove a section of the intestine that had become gangrenous.
Police have arrested four of the six suspects, and are looking for the two who are on the run.