The Health officials in Paro clarified the recent incident at the Paro Dzongkhag hospital involving a 73year old woman who passed out during a routine tooth extraction process by two dental technicians.
A clarification letter was sent to this paper by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Paro dzongkhag a copy of which was also sent to the Health minister’s office as well as to the Secretary office.
The letter denied the manner in which the incident was earlier accounted by the 73 year old woman’s daughter Kencho Dem. The nature of the letter stated that the claims and statements made by Kencho Dem and her mother Dorji Lham was a misinformation which hurt the sentiments of the hospital staffs.
The Paro CMO said in the letter that Dorji Lhamo visited the hospital with the dental problem of her 8 year old grandson, well after his treatment she requested to have her tooth extracted as it was loose and frequently experiencing pain is true as Dorji Lhamo had clearly explained.
The letter stated that the Dental hygienist asked her whether she had any problems of blood pressure or diabetes.
According to Dorji Lhamo herself, this is not true as she had initially said.
Dorji Lham couldn’t be contacted to reconfirm her words and Kencho Dem wanted to refrain from giving any further statements. But earlier when talking to Dorji Lhamo she said she did experience giddiness but passed out shortly due to tremendous pain and by the time the daughter arrived she was already shifted to an emergency room which the daughter earlier described as a pig-sty like condition.
While the clarification letter also stated that Dorji Lhamo was given glucose water and was evidently conscious and nurses were monitoring her pulse and blood pressure. In her statement earlier Kencho Dem said that no glucose was given nor any nurses were attending or monitoring her mother. In fact she said there were nurses outside who argued amongst themselves and when she asked the nurses as to why her mother was not attended, the nurses replied that Dorji Lhamo was not their patient and they were reluctant to attend.
She also said that her mother was completely unconscious describing the state as almost dead.
The clarification letter said that Kencho Dem did not witness all the management provided as she arrived much later.
One of the spine shivering facts unraveled by this incident was that during dental procedures especially during extractions in Bhutan, dentists or dental technicians do not compulsorily perform blood pressure checkup for the patients but they are only asked verbally.
The Head of Dental Department at the national referral hospital (JDWNRH) , Oral Surgeon Karma Tobgyel said, these procedures are asked verbally.
He said people in the country these days are very much aware of their blood pressure and sugar levels. Conversely and as mentioned in the earlier news story most people in Paro are not even aware of their blood pressure let alone the vitality of having their blood pressures checked during tooth extraction processes.
The surgeon said practical tests are done only if the patient is not aware or is in doubt, but as mentioned before people in the rural areas especially in Paro are unaware of health issues or frequent illnesses like stomach problems. People considered themselves free of health problems if they are fit and standing.
Earlier the HoD, Oral surgeon Karma Tobgyel said that normally the blood pressures of the patients are asked verbally to themselves and no practical tests are done unless if the patients are in doubt or are not aware of their blood pressures.
The issue here, according to patients in dzongkhags other than Thimphu and Phuentsholing is that almost 80%of them are villagers who are more or less ignorant about such cases with regard to blood pressure checkups and other necessary information’s.
The HOD said that almost in every dzongkhag the practice is the same with regard to asking necessary information from the patients verbally especially blood pressure during dental extractions.