Medicine Looks to Be Culprit in Deadly Sterilizations

Officials confiscating pills that were given to women
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2014 10:33 AM CST
Medicine Looks to Be Culprit in Deadly Sterilizations
Indian women who underwent sterilization surgeries receive treatment at the CIMS hospital in Bilaspur, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, on Nov. 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Press Trust of India)

Authorities in India initially thought the women who died after surgeries at a recent "sterilization camp" may have succumbed to septic shock; stories poured out about unsanitary conditions and rushed operations. But now, after post-mortem examinations on several of the women, health officials say it looks like tainted medications are actually to blame, the New York Times reports. The women went home with packets of ciprofloxacin (an antibiotic) and ibuprofen (a painkiller), and officials have confiscated shipments of those drugs, seized the remaining pills from patients' homes, and filed complaints against the companies that made the drugs.

A few clues have bubbled up supporting the tainted medication idea: Separate sterilization clinics also had problems, and one surgeon says he also saw male patients who were given medicine from the same batch for other reasons—including a 75-year-old man who died yesterday. The grandmother of one of the female victims from the first clinic in Chhattisgarh state says the woman started vomiting an hour after taking her first dose of ciprofloxacin; she later died. (More India stories.)

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