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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Dengue scare: Safdarjung emergency wing sees 150% increase in patient load

Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 16, 2013
First Published: 00:59 IST(16/10/2013) | Last Updated: 01:01 IST(16/10/2013)

Safdarjung Hospital’s emergency department has seen a 150% increase in patients —from 1,000 to 2,500 a day— over the past one month. Almost 50% of the patients come with high fever and suspect they are suffering from dengue.

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Only one out of five patients who come to the emergency -- about 50 a day -- need to be admitted to the hospital. “These days, almost everyone who comes to us with high fever has already got a blood test done. If there is even a slight drop in the platelet count, the person panics and takes it for dengue. That is probably the reason behind such a heavy rush at our hospital emergency,” said a senior doctor in the hospital casualty. “Having said that, we get about 30 to 40 cases of dengue every day but we do not admit anyone unless the person is bleeding actively. There is a misconception that one needs blood transfusion if the platelets are low; transfusion is required only if the person starts bleeding,” the doctor added.

Normally, the emergency cases that come to the hospital vary from dog-bites to heart-attacks and from road accidents to cases of domestic violence.

The hospital authorities confirmed there was a sudden spurt in the number of patients in the hospital emergency.

“There has been a sudden influx of patients in the emergency over the last one month or so that has increased the workload of our doctors tremendously. Our resident doctors are working continuously without a break,” said Dr BD Athani, medical superintendent of the hospital.

Apart from the emergency cases, the hospital gets nearly 7,000 routine cases in its out patient department (OPD) daily.

“We are deputing more senior and junior residents in the department and we are even thinking of pulling staff from our Sports Injuries Centre to meet the current patient load,” said Dr Athani.

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