Dengue deaths are preventable if proper procedures are followedPosted: November 7, 2011
With mostly adults dying of dengue, there is evidence to suggest that paediatricians are a lot better in following the guidelines set by the Epidemiology Unit and preventing deaths, said another doctor, asking whether it is lethargy or complacency or negligence on the part of physicians.
It can’t be ignorance because over and over again they have been told what should be done and that is very simple, another pointed out. The first step is to monitor all febrile patients (those coming in with fever) as the first suspect on the diagnosis list should be dengue, the Sunday Times understands, as dengue has become hyper-endemic.
The policy should be to think of all patients with fever as having dengue, unless ruled otherwise, it is learnt. Clinicians should monitor the febrile phase very carefully and then check out whether it is dengue fever (DF) or dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) when the fever has continued for more than three days, said a senior doctor who has studied dengue. DF has no plasma leakage, while in DHF there will be evidence of both a plasma leakage and a platelet count equal to or below 100,000/c.mm. Many patients with DF and DHF will also have a white blood cell count below 5,000.
The other important factor is that dengue patients do not need to be accommodated in an intensive care unit but can be managed in a ward. However, constant monitoring is the key, another doctor pointed out.