Thursday, June 15, 2006

Chua: NS girl died of brain infection

Star: PUTRAJAYA: Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek has confirmed that 17-year-old national service trainee S. Theresa Paulin died of viral meningoencephalitis (brain infection) with secondary pneumonia (lung infection).
“This is unfortunate and it’s not common. But she was given all the necessary treatment,” he said.
Dr Chua said Theresa, who was at Kem Karisma in Kuala Pilah, fell ill on May 23.
She had epileptic fits at the camp and was sent to Kuala Pilah Hospital that day. At the hospital, medical examination showed that she was anaemic but otherwise normal.
“She was given medicine for her fits and warded till May 25. On May 26, doctors advised that she be transferred to Malacca Hospital for more tests,” he told a press conference at his ministry yesterday.
“She was discharged on May 27, but had another bout of fits at home on May 28. She was rushed to Malacca Hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit.”
According to the first scan done in Kuala Pilah Hospital, her brain was normal, but the second scan in Malacca Hospital indicated meningitis, he added.
Dr Chua said doctors diagnosed her as having status epilepticus with aspiration pneumonia.
On June 6, Theresa developed other complications and had pneumothorax (air in the chest outside the lungs), and on June 11, died of viral meningoencephalitis with secondary pneumonia.
“It’s a very serious disease,” Dr Chua said, adding that the explanation for Theresa’s cause of death was to assure the people that there was no cover-up.
To questions, he said health officials could not ascertain where and how Theresa contracted the virus.

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