Mumbai, Dec 12, 2019: Nine months after a 43-year-old businessman died 28 hours after undergoing a hair transplantation procedure at a Chinchpokli clinic, his family is still awaiting a medical report on the cause of death and has now sought action against the treating dermatologist. The dermatologist has, however, claimed he followed the standard operating procedure.
Shravan Kumar Chaudhary, a Chandivali resident, had undergone hair transplantation procedure on his entire scalp in one sitting. From 2.30 pm on March 7 to 2 am on March 8, dermatologist Dr Vikas Halwai had grafted 3,700 follicular units on his scalp.
Soon after, Chaudhary felt pain in the nape of his neck at the clinic. After being taken to three hospitals, early March 9, Chaudhary passed away at Hiranandani hospital. A preliminary postmortem had report stated that he suffered anaphylactic reaction, an allergic reaction that causes swelling and uneasiness. “I only came to know that he was undergoing hair transplant when I called him on the night of March 7. He sounded fine on the phone,” said Chaudhary’s wife Seema (43).
Chaudhary, who was the MD of SM Express Logistics, had been contemplating undergoing a hair transplant on the advice of a friend who underwent a transplant at the Derma Dent Aesthetic Clinic in Chinchpokli. He had met the dermatologist at least thrice before the procedure was planned. Daughter Chandrika said he had been following the Keto diet for 15 days before the procedure.
“The police have been probing for nine months. J J hospital is yet to submit a report on the cause of the death,” said Shiv Karan, a relative. The family, which has filed a writ petition in Bombay High Court over the delay in the submission of the government hospital’s report, has claimed that the clinic did not have proper equipment and operation theatre to perform the transplant.
A forensic expert at J J hospital said the medical opinion in the case will take another week to be filed. The hospital has sought a response from Hiranandani hospital, the clinic and Dalvi nursing home, where the businessman was admitted.
On March 8 morning, Halwai initially took Chaudhary to Global hospital but he was not admitted there. When contacted, the spokesperson for the hospital declined to comment.
Halwai then took Chaudhary to Dalvi nursing home near Sion. But he was discharged and sent home. On March 8 evening, his family rushed him to Hiranandani hospital with his head and shoulder swollen to double the normal size. He passed away the next day.
“The patient was brought to our hospital in a very critical condition. He could not be saved as his condition on arrival itself was moribund,” a spokesperson from Hiranandani hospital said.
Halwai said he has conducted over 1,100 hair transplants with a maximum of 4,000 follicular grafts in his seven-year career. “Pain after the procedure is normal. I don’t know what happened to the patient after he went home. I administered local anaesthesia, lignocaine. He had undergone a hand surgery using the same anaesthesia. So, I did not suspect any kind of reaction,” he added.
Halwai said that Chaudhary was a grade 7 case, meaning he required grafting on the entire scalp. The procedure spanned over 12 hours with three breaks of half an hour. He has told the police stated that an ECG was not conducted before the procedure “as it was not essential”.
Advocate Prashant Pandey, representing Halwai, said, “All procedures were followed. It was unfortunate that such an incident happened, but the doctor had no control over what happened to the patient. Nobody knows what procedure was followed at Hiranandani hospital.”
The Sakinaka police has filed an accidental death report in the case. “We are waiting for the J J hospital report before filing a case,” said Inspector Budhan Sawant.