Doctors who treated President Bingu wa Mutharika have revealed that although Mutharika was already dead by the time he arrived at the hospital, his chances to be resuscitated were narrowed by lack of an essential drug-Adrenaline-which is used to resuscitate people stricken by cardiac arrest.
“When he arrived we realised we realized that the central hospital has run out of Adrenaline or epinephrine, the main drug used during resuscitation from cardiac arrest,” said one of the doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital where Mutharika was rushed to Thursday morning.
The doctor explained that a 1mg dose is supposed to be given to a cardiac arrest patient at least every three minutes during the period.
“It took us an hour before we could get some adrenaline from a nearby clinic managed by the University of North Calorina (UNC) project, “he added.
The doctor said purchase of Adrenaline for stocking was not possible because of inadequate funding following the zero deficit budget which has led to a cut in the amount of most essential but rarely used drugs.
The doctors, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters, said the 78-year-old died Thursday, and his body was then flown to South Africa as a cargo not a patient, apparently to buy time for politicians who may be squabbling over the succession.
“Mutharika was brought already dead…cardiac arrest leads to heart failure and when the heart stops, the next thing is that oxygen stops going to the brain and within three minutes, the brain shuts down and a person is pronounced dead because chances of resuscitation are almost zero depending on the age,” said one of the doctors at the hospital.
The plane carrying the body of later Mutharika delayed by almost four hours because, according to several sources, the pilot from South Africa refused to fly a corpse.
“The air ambulance was hired to airlift a patient and not a corpse…because of that, the pilot and his medical [team] asked [Malawi] government to seek permission to have clearance to fly as cargo and it took long for all the formalities to be completed,” sources said.
According to medical sources, when Mutharika arrived at KCH, panic and confusion ensued in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where the President’s security detail pushed other patients away to prevent them from seeing Mutharika, who was brought on a stretcher covered from head to toe.