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What were the four dots on Jayalalithaa's cheek when she died? Doctors answer

Dr Richard Beale, the consultant intensivist from the London Bridge Hospital, who had attended to the late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa, addressed a press meet in Chennai on Monday, organised by the Tamil Nadu government, along with other medicos. 

After her death, Jayalalithaa’s body was kept for public viewing at the Rajaji Hall in Chennai. The photographs from the funeral fuelled rumours about what had happened to her during the course of her long hospitalisation. One of the questions raised persistently was about the four dots which could be seen on her cheek.  Social media was rife with rumours about her legs being amputated, too.

Asked about the dots on her cheek and alleged amputation, Dr Richard Beale said, “There was no amputation, no transplant at all. Marks on cheek- critically ill patients can have some marks in cheeks.”

Dr Sudha Seshaiyyan, Director of Anatomy, Madras Medical College, who did the embalming for Jayalalithaa said, “We did normal embalming procedure. Before embalming, I did check, there were no leaks. Her lips were swollen as she had been on ventilator. There were three or four ecchymotic dots, but they were not so deep. The whole embalming process took 15 minutes. When we pumped embalming fluids, there were hardly any leaks. Only some mucus discharge from the nose.”

Ecchymotic spots are caused by the escape of blood into the tissues from ruptured blood vessels.

Dr Sudha further added: “When embalming was done, I don’t remember seeing three (sic) dots. I have not seen what came on social media. Was there during the embalming process.”

Dr Sudha explained why the embalming had to be done: “The procedure took place at midnight for 15 minutes. Usually, when there is a VIP death, the public will come to pay respects. There are chances of the body decaying, so we do embalming. The body can emanate a foul smell or people may pass on something to her. When embalming was done, there were only ecchymotic spots.”

Recounting the events of the night that Jayalalithaa died, Dr Sudha said, “I received a call from the Health Secretary that she was no more and I had to do embalming. I told my team to move and I reached later.”

Dr Sudha added that it was a team from Madras Medical College which had done the embalming for former CM MGR, too: “When public personalities die, embalming is normally done. It was even done on MG Ramachandran.”

On December 5 2016, when it was declared that Jayalalithaa had passed away, many said that it was only the official announcement that was being made and that she had been dead for a long time. The photographs from the funeral were taken as “confirmation” for the conspiracy theories.

The press releases coming from Apollo Hospitals which revealed little to nothing for the longest time, had the entire state waiting with bated breath to know what the real story was. The hospital had turned into a fortress and the media had very little access to what was going on, leading to wild rumours spreading across the state.

Source: The News Minute