Health authorities in the federal capital have reportedly initiated several investigations to determine the circumstances surrounding the deaths of at least three patients during surgery at the Federal Government Polyclinic Islamabad. The patients reportedly succumbed to an overdose of an anesthetic agent, a daily national has claimed.
According to an official from the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination, multiple inquiries have been launched to investigate the deaths of the three patients.
The cause is allegedly believed to be an anesthesia overdose resulting from a malfunctioning vaporizer. The patients were reportedly administered an excessive amount of isoflurane, leading to acute liver failure and the unfortunate demise of three individuals, with a fourth patient currently in critical condition.
The incident came to the attention of the polyclinic administration on November 18, 2023. In response, all operation theaters, including those for emergency, elective, and gynecology surgeries, were promptly closed. Patients were redirected to alternative hospitals such as the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad and the Federal Government Hospital.
While awaiting the results of internal inquiries conducted by the Polyclinic administration, the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA), Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), and the Drug Control Section of the Islamabad Health Department have reportedly initiated separate investigations to determine the underlying causes of the deaths at the health facility.
Dr. Shehzad Munir, the Executive Director at Polyclinic, addressed concerns, stating that the use of the anesthetic drug ‘Isoflurane’ led to increased liver enzymes in some patients. He emphasized that they promptly switched drugs to prevent complications but asserted that the deaths were unrelated to the anesthetic agents. Dr. Munir also denied any malfunctioning of the equipment used in the hospital’s operation theaters.