4 mentally ill women die mysteriously in Chennai

November 28th, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 28 (IANS) The bodies of four destitute female patients, who died mysteriously within hours of each other in a mental health institution here Friday, have been sent for postmortem examination, a senior health official told IANS.”The four women - Rosaline, 43, Mehanji, 32, Muthu Selvi, 48 and Rajammaal, 52 - were our patients for a considerable amount of time. They had a long history of several complications.

“Since they died within hours of each other of causes yet to be established, we sent their bodies for post mortem,” R. Sathianathen, director of Institute of Mental Health (IMH) told IANS.

“While inclement weather induced respiratory problems could be one of the reasons, they may also have succumbed to massive cardiac arrests. The causes could not be ascertained as ours is an institution that only treats mental ailments,” he added.

While two of the dead had been rescued from the streets several years ago and admitted under magisterial orders, the other two were admitted by relatives who never turned up at the institution to follow-up their progress, said IMH officials.

According to Sathianathen, 24 other patients in the hospital suffering from a severe bout of gastreoentritis have been shifted to another facility - Institute of Infectious Diseases, in Tondiarpet, situated 15 km away in the northern suburbs.

“We shifted the patients to prevent other patients from getting infected,” he added.

Heavy rains that lashed Tamil Nadu and its capital city here for the past 92 hours have abated, but flooding has led to outbreaks of water-borne diseases and unwelcome visits of pests like snakes and scorpions in several places, according to media reports.

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