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Hospitals ready for dengue cases

With one dengue death having been reported and the dengue positive cases crossing the 100 number mark, hospitals in the Capital are gearing up to tackle any untoward situation, report Rhythma Kaul & Sanjeev K Ahuja.

delhi Updated: Sep 08, 2008 01:07 IST

With one dengue death having been reported and the dengue positive cases crossing the 100 number mark, hospitals in the Capital are gearing up to tackle any untoward situation.

The doctors at Moolchand Hospital receive about 30 patients every day. Out of them, about eight to 10 patients need to be admitted.

The hospital has opened a special dengue control room and dengue camp which is operational round-the-clock. There is an on-the-spot platelet count test and the reports are also made available to people at the camp in comparatively lesser time.

“If we look at the number of patients visiting us everyday, it does look like an outbreak situation, which needed special attention,” said Dr KK Aggarwal, medical director of Moolchand Hospital.

All across the city, doctors who deal with dengue patients feel there is a scare among people related to low platelet count. “We have noticed if there’s a drop in the platelet count, people get panicky. There’s a need to dispel this fear among the people, as sometimes even certain medicines for fever have components that can drop the platelet count,” said a senior doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

In AIIMS, additional beds have been put to accommodate the rush. “We get a couple of dengue cases on an average everyday which we direct to the casualty section,” said a senior doctor at the Out Patient Department in AIIMS.

In other government-run hospitals too, the administration is ready to deal with the situation.

“There’s no specific treatment as such for dengue patients, and if these patients come to us, we are well prepared to give them the best of treatment available,” said Dr Anjan Prakash, additional medical superintendent at the Lok Nayak hospital. The hospital has about five dengue positive patients admitted at present.

Gurgaon, where the figure of dengue patients is reported to have touched 400, is in the grip of “artificial” shortage of platelets and hospital beds. Some hospitals are advising platelets for patients even at the platelet count of 30-40,000 as against danger mark of below 20,000.

“All this has created an artificial shortage of platelets and hospital beds in Gurgaon that has a capacity of less than 2,000 beds…. We have plenty of platelets and enough beds,” said Dr. SP Yadav, the former president of the Indian Medical Association, Gurgaon.

Dr. Yadav, who is the director of Pushpanjali Hospital, said his hospital also was facing the problem of shortage of beds.

The private hospitals charge somewhere between Rs. 7000 and 10,000 for each unit of platelet in Gurgaon whereas government hospitals do it free of cost.

“Patients insist on additional platelets when they are not under the danger mark. Same is the situation on the beds as many insist to be admitted even when it is not required,” said Dr. AK Sethi of Sethi Hospital.

Dr Krishan Kumar the district malaria officer said there was nothing to panic. “Hardly a few (1-2 per cent only) patients require platelets. The paucity of platelets in Gurgaon is an artificial situation created by some of the private hospitals,” he said.