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UK Sepsis Expert Overseeing Jayalalithaa’s Recovery Now

Ailing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is recovering and a UK specialist in sepsis, an infection of the bloodstream that leads to serious medical condition, was flown in to supervise her treatment and she is responding positively, said a latest statement released by Apollo Hospital in Chennai.

The 68-year-old Jayalalithaa (Amma for her fans) being in hospital has already sent shockwaves among her admirers and followers all over the state of Tamil Nadu and they have been slowly turning up at the hospital despite the party AIADMK’s assurance to them that the leader is recovering.

Amid doubts expressed by opposition leader K. Karunanidhi, the governor of the state, C.Vidyasagar Rao, visited the hospital on Saturday and emerged out of it describing that the leader is "recovering well". The party has refused to release a photograph as demanded by the DMK chief. It may be noted that several of her fans tried to commit suicide when she was jailed in Bangalore last year and the state administration is more careful in releasing any statement.

But eye brows are raised and prayers are on throughout the state which is praying for her early recovery. This is the first time that Jayalalithaa was hospitalized after entering politics almost three decades ago as she was always seen by visiting doctors at her house in her Poes Garden home. The situation outside the hospital also brings to memory of the days when her mentor and AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran was in hospital in Chennai in 1987. His death led to chaos and sparked several self-immolations that the state administration is fully aware of.

In fact, rumours and morphed photographs are spreading online, especially on Whatsapp and Facebook, while one has gone to the extent of showing a photograph of a patient inside an ICU that was lifted from a hospital in Peru and morphed.

While it is not known what exactly the situation is, here is a profile of the UK expert who is overseeing her recovery currently at the hospital.

Dr Richard John Beale is Clinical Director of Perioperative, Critical care & Pain Services and Consultant Intensivist at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

He received his Medical degree from St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, in 1984 and did his specialisation in Anaesthetics at Guy’s Hospital, London and was accordingly admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists in 1990. As a registered specialist in anaesthetics and intensive care, he held the posts of Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Registrar in Intensive Care at Guy’s Hospital, London, until 1992 when he embarked on his Higher Professional Training in Anaesthesia at the Royal London Hospital.

He became a consultant in Intensive Care at Guy’s & St. Thomas Hospital Trust in 1995, becoming Head of Service for Adult Intensive Care Unit in 2000. In March 2005 he was made Head of Perioperative, Critical Care and Pain Services and is now made Clinical Director. More than his career, his specilisation in the fields of sepsis, ARDS and clinical nutrition — have given to uncertainty of AMMA’s health condition in the hospital.

Symptoms of sepsis, according to Mayo Clinic, include body temperature above 101 F (38.3 C), heart rate higher than 90 beats a minute
and respiratory rate higher than 20 breaths a minute. It is a three-stage syndrome, starting with sepsis and progressing through severe sepsis to septic shock. If not treated at early stage, it may become dangerous, according to the website. But it is generally said that more people do recover from mild sepsis.

Dr. Richard John Beale

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